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\UMTlhrT fit* t 

idcmy of Scien 







Notes on the Climate of Mont'Estoril and the 
Riviera of Portugal, or the Climate of Mont'Estoril deter- 
mined by the Flora and by Oceanic and Atmospheric Currents. 
Lisbon, 1908. Pag. xn-72, in 8.° Price 5o cents, or 2sh. 6d. 

The Climate of Portugal and Notes on its Health 
Resorts. With six maps and numerous tables. Lisbon, 1914. 
Pag. xxvi-480, in 8.° Price 2#>5o or iosh. 6d. 








Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences, Lisbon. 







The following pages contain a critical exami- 
nation of that portion of Lord Byron's Childe Ha- 
rold's Pilg)~image which refers to Portugal. My 
principal aim is to point out why it was that Lord 
Byron reviled the Portuguese with passionate ani- 
mosity, and presented them as though possessing 
no redeeming features. This inquiry is of consi- 
derable interest, and has not yet received that 
amount of attention which it deserves. 

Childe Harold, as a purely literary work, needs 
no praise: it is universally accepted to be a mas- 
terpiece, and is often adopted as a text-book for 
the study of English Poetry; in this connection it 
is safe to observe that it has more admirers on 
the Continent than in Great Britain itself. In 
Childe Harold the great poet describes the more 

54f> i u4 


important physical features, the most striking his- 
torical facts, and the prominent characteristics ot 
the peoples and countries he visited. A great 
many of his ideas were the result of his impressions 
or impulses of the moment, of his passionate and 
often unaccountable sympathy or antipathy. He 
does not care for what others say on a subject; 
it is always what he himself thinks. And, cu- 
riously enough, this very egoism, this public con- 
fession of his apparently innermost soul is one 
of the charms of his poetry. Whatever his other 
faults, and unfortunately they are many, it is im- 
possible not to admire his great poetical talent. 

Lord Byron's other writings referring to Portu- 
gal have not the same interest as his Childe Harold. 

I wish to acknowledge here my endebtedness 
to the Academy of Sciences for ordering the publi- 
cation of this Paper. 

Lisbon, October iqi8. 

D. G. D. 


Preface v 

Introduction: — Birth and education. Hours of Idleness and 
English Bard and Scotch Reviewers. Grand tour. Re- 
turn to England and Childe Harold. The remaining pha- 
ses of the Poet's life: Don Juan and dramas. The revo- 
lutionary character of his works. Division of the subject 
into three Parts xi 


Text: Canto I. Stanzas XIV-XXXIII , i 



St. XIV: — I. Four days are sped, but with the fifth anon. 

II. Lusian 9 

St. XV: — I. A goodly sight to see. II. His hot shafts urge 
Gaul's locust host 11 

St. XVI: — I. Lisboa. II. Poets vainly pave with sands of 
gold. III. Who lick, yet loathe, the hand that waves the 
sword 16 

St. XVII: — I. 'Mid many things unsightly to strange ee. 
II. Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, unwash'd, 
unhurt 21 


St. XVIII: — I. Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such 

men? II. Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden 24 

St. XIX: — I. The cork trees hoar that clothe the shaccv 

steep 28 

St. XX: — I. Our Lady's House of Woe. II. Honorius ... 29 
St. XXI: — I. Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath. 

(Daily assassinations and assaults) 33 

St. XXII: — I. Domes Avhere whilome kings 'did make re- 
pair. . . ruined Splendour. II. And yonder towers the 
Prince's palace fair. III. Vathek! England's wealthiest 

son, once form'd thy Paradise 44 

St. XXIII: — I. But now, as if a thing unblest by Man, thy 

fairy dwelling is as lone as Thou 49 

St. XXIV: — I. The hall. II. Where blazoned glare names 

known to chivalry 5i 

St. XXV: — I. Convention is the dwarfish demon 54 

St. XXVI: — I. Britannia sickens, Cintra! at thy name ... 55 

St. XXVII: — I. Gazed on truth 56 

St. XXVIII: — I. To horse! to horse! 5j 

St. XXIX: — I. Mafra. II. Where dwelt of yore the Lu- 
sian's luckless queen. III. Mass and revel... lordlings 
and freres. IV. Babylonian Whore. . . and the blood she 

hath spilt 58 

St. XXX: — I. Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air. . 62 
St. XXXI: — I. Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed. . 63 
St. XXXII: — I. Rival realms. II. The jealous jQueens of 
Nations. III. Or fence of art like China's wall? Ne barrier 

Avail, ne river deep and wide 64 

St. XXXIII: — I. The Spanish hind. . . and Lusian slave, the 

lowest of the low 65 

Concluding remarks 70 



I: — Stanzas to a Ladv with the «Poems of Camoens». 
I. The Poems of Camoens. II. But not thy hapless fate 
♦ the same - y5 


II: — From the Portuguese «Tu me chamas». I. The ori- 
ginal of «Tu me chamas». 81 

III: — Lines to Mr. Hodgson. Written on board the Lisbon 

packet. I. Lines to Mr. Hodgson 82 

IV: — Letter to Mr. Hodgson. Lisbon, July 16, 1809. I. Hob- 
house's Book of Travel. II. I am happy here. . . I swims 
in the Tagus 85 

V:-«-Letter to Mr. Hodgson. Gibraltar, August 6, 1809. . . 89 

VI: — Letter to Mrs. Byron. Gibraltar, August 11, 1809. 
I. I have an invitation on my return to Cadiz, which I 
shall accept if I repass through the country on my return 
from Asia 90 

Bibliography of Byron's works translated into Portuguese. . . 99 

NOTE. — All the Notes by Byron in his printed editions of 
Childe Harold are marked bv a capital letter when thev are placed 
in the body of the work (A, B,) or by an ordinarv one when at 
the foot of the page (a, b, c,), they are furthermore indicated bv 
the letters B. N. at the end of each note; all the Verses and Notes 
in the original manuscript are placed in brackets [ ].- The editorial 
Notes are indicated by small Roman numerals (I, II, III,) when in 
the body of the work, and by the Arabic (1, 2, 3,) when they are 


George Noel Gordon Byron, the most brilliant Eng- 
lish poet of the xix. century, was born at Holies Street, 
London, on January 22, 1788, and was the son of Captain 
John Byron and of his second wife Catherine Gordon, 
of Gight in Aberdeenshire. The father haying dissi- 
pated his own fortune and that of his wife, and being 
harassed by creditors, fled to France and died at Va- 
lenciennes in 1791. Mrs. Byron found herself, for her 
position in life, in very straitened circumstances, with 
an income of only one hundred and thirty pounds a year; 
and she thought it adyisable to remove to Scotland and 
take lodgings at Aberdeen. As a child Byron did not 
receiye the kind of attention which his temperament 
required. His mother, who was hysterical, caressed 
him very indulgently one day, and treated him with 


violence the next, and thus increased his natural sen- 
sitiveness and irritability. He had the misfortune to 
suffer also from some lameness, due to infantile para- 
lysis of one of his legs. On the whole the impressions 
of his childhood were, as he styled them, 'melancholy'. 
When ten years of age, on the death of his grand-uncle, 
he succeeded to the peerage under the title of Baron 
Byron of Rochdale, being the sixth of his line, and 
came into possession of about one thousand five hun- 
dred pounds a vear. 

When thirteen years old he went to Harrow, and 
from i8o5 to 1808 to Trinity College, Cambridge. In 
his studies, both at school and at the University, he 
does not appear to have learnt much of what was taught, 
but he used to read a great deal, and, being endowed 
with an" excellent memory, was far better informed than 
many other students much older than himself. A me- 
morandum [ made by him on November 3o, 1807, shows 
how wide was his reading. The subjects which he 
preferred were, generally speaking, poetry and history. 
With reference to Portugal he read Vertot's History 
of the Revolution in Portugal in 1640, a work describ- 
ing how the Portuguese got rid of the Spanish domi- 
nation and placed the Duke of Braganza on the throne 

1 V. Moore (Thomas): Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, 
with Notices 0/ his Life. London, 1901, pg. 46. (The first edition 
in 2 vol. was published in iS3o). 


as John IV. Another book which greatly attracted his 
attention in those days was a translation of the Poems 
of Camoens by Strangford. Both at school and college 
he devoted himself freely to sports of various kinds: 
riding, shooting, fencing, boxing, and swimming. 

Like many other poetical geniuses, Byron was a 
precocious lover. Besides his early juvenile attach- 
ments first to his cousin Mary Duff and afterwards to 
another cousin Margaret Parker, his first earnest love 
he bestowed on Miss Mary Anne Chaworth; this was 
in i8o3 when he was only sixteen years old. It was 
unfortunate for him that she did not accept his advances, 
and treated him rather derisively by saying to her maid, 
accidentally within his hearing, that she would not 
marry anybody who was lame. How greatly he was 
attached to her may be judged by his lines addressed 
To a Lady, commencing with the words: «Oh! had 
my fate been joined with thine», and by Stanzas to a 
Lady, on leaving England. 

Byron commenced to write verses when he was 
fourteen. At the close of 1807 he published his first 
book, the Hours of Idleness. Fortunately for him, it 
attracted the notice of the Edinburgh Review, which 
attacked it in a criticism of merciless severity. Had it 
not been for this act of hostility he would probably 
have ceased to write verses for the public. The criti- 
cism put him on his mettle. He could not stand rebuke 


without contemplating revenge. He brought out in the 
spring of 1809 his English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, 
a bitter satire, attacking very boldly not only the editor 
and other contributors to the review but also all the 
prominent writers of the day, describing them all with 
infinite contempt as a 'dirty pack'. He was expecting 
that some of them would send him their cartels, but he 
was disappointed, for all treated him with silent scorn. 
He was as quick to resent a rebuke as to feel childishly 
elated when praised. He now became a contributor 
to the Monthly Review because it had published a fa- 
vourable notice of his book. It was about this time, 
from 1807 to 1809, that he led a very riotous life: he 
fell into excesses and dissipations of every kind. One 
of his loves accompanied him dressed as a jockey. All 
this brought him into pecuniary difficulties. 

Disappointed in love and having failed to achieve 
immediate success as a poet, which he had looked for- 
ward, he became very nervous and irritable*, regarded 
himself as friendless and abandoned by all, and decided 
to find relief in travels abroad — in the «grand tour* 
which he had been contemplating for some time. He 
sailed for Lisbon in July 1809. Just before leaving 
England the general condition of his mind, as des- 
cribed by his friend and literary adviser, R. C. Dallas, 
was full of discontent: ((Resentment, anger, hatred held 
full sway over him, and his gratification at that time 


was in overcharging his pen with gall, which flowed 
in every direction, against individuals, his country, the 
world, the universe, creation and the Creator» l . 

When he arrived in Portugal his mind was biassed 
against the Portuguese. It was at this time a common 
belief among Englishmen that if there was any nation 
that could oppose the ambitions of Napoleon, and there- 
by favour the interests of the British, it was Spain, 
and not Portugal. The Spaniards were considered 
quite a match for the French, and their resources and 
patriotism were looked upon as boundless. Long be- 
fore Byron came to Lisbon it had been pointed out by 
Wellington (then Sir Arthur Wellesley), as will be seen 
further on, how baseless were these views. Besides 
this general bias Byron had, during his ten days stay 
in Lisbon, an unfortunate experience in one of his love 
adventures, an experience which, due to his inordinate 
pride and irritability, greatly embittered his mind against 
the Portuguese. 

After leaving Lisbon he spent twenty days-in Spain, 
and wandered for nearly two years in Albania, Greece, 
Turkey and Asia Minor. When at Joannina he com- 
menced to write his Childe Harold, on October 3i, 

1 Dallas (R. C): Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, by 
the late. . . Published by the author's son A. R. G. Dallas. London, 
1824, pg. 65. — A sister of R. C. Dallas was married to Lord By- 
ron's uncle, Captain George Byron, of the Royal Navy. 


1809; and he finished the second Canto at Smyrna, on 
March 20, 18 10. 

He returned to England on the 14 th of July 181 1, 
and, while settling some legal and literary affairs in 
London, received an intimation that his mother had 
been suddenly taken ill, and while on his way to New- 
stead Abbey he received the news of her death. This 
was the severest blow he had till then received; his 
mother died on the 1 st of August, death being due to an 
apoplectic stroke brought on by rage over an upholster- 
er's bill. He had also lost during his absence three 
or four of his best friends l . For a considerable time 
he was more miserable than ever. All his surround- 
ings reminded him of his past adventures and past 
disappointments. His travels had done him not much 

When more settled in mind he occupied himself in 
making corrections ^and alterations in his Childe Harold. 

1 One of his friends was the Honourable John Wingfield, of 
the Coldstream Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra on Mav 14, 
181 1. Byron devotes to his memory stanzas xci. and xcu. of 
the First Canto of Childe Harold. Another was Edward Noel 
Long, who was drowned in the Atlantic Ocean while coming with 
his regiment to Lisbon. This officer has been confounded bv a 
Portuguese writer with Lieut. R. G. Massev, who was accidentally 
drowned in the Mondego on the i5 l h of March, 1827, and was no 
friend of Byron's. 


The general frame of his mind in those days may be 
judged from what he wrote to Mr. F. Hodgson on 
September 26, 181 1. «I have attacked)), he says, «De 
Pauw, Thornton, Lord Elgin, Spain, Portugal, the 
Edinburgh Review, travellers, painters, antiquaries and 
others, so you see "what a dish of sour crout controversy 
I shall prepare for myself. It would not answer for 
me to give way now; as I was forced into bitterness 
at the beginning, I will go through to the last. 'Vas 
yictis'. If I fall I shall fall gloriously, fighting against 
a host» l . 

Byron was not at all sure of the success of his 
poem. He told Dallas that the manuscript had been 
seen by only one person, «who had found few things 
in it to praise and many to condemn, and that he 
1 Byron) agreed with him». But both were greatly 
mistaken. It was published on the 10 th of March, 18 12, 
and w T as an enormous success; it took the public by 
storm. «I awoke one morning», says Byron, «and 
found myself famous ». It placed him at once at the 
head of all his literary contemporaries: he became «the 
grand Napoleon, of the realms of rhyme». 

1 Byron's letters arc quoted by their dates, so as to enable 
the reader to refer to any work, accessible to him, on the subject. 
The best edition of his letters is in the Works of Lord Byron: 
Part I. Letters and Journals, edited by R. C. Prothero. 6 vol. 
London, 1898-1901. 


The two Cantos of Childe Harold arc no more than 
a traveller's diary, <>i impressions received in Portugal, 
Spain, Epirus, Acarnania and Greece. There is no 
plot of any kind. Childe Harold had been a real per- 
son who had travelled in the same way as the poet. 
That is all. This is the reason why that portion of 
the Canto referring to Portugal can be detached from 
the rest and studied separately. He describes in the 
two Cantos the impressions he received in each coun- 
try. When in Portugal and Spain the subject upper- 
most in his mind was the Peninsular War; in Greece 
it was its past glory, its august Athena, which tired 
his youthful imagination to secure its liberation. All 
his impressions are conveyed in an imagery and lan- 
guage quite his own. He expresses himself ccwith 
thoughts that breathe and words that burn». There 
is a good deal of noble enthusiasm, and also a good 
deal of bitter satire and sarcasm, his repertory of 
abusive language being inexhaustible. His descriptions 
of natural beauties are short, bold, vigorous and inimit- 

Childe Harold attracted attention nouonly in Great 
Britain but all over Europe. Besides its intrinsic merit 
the poet's rank, his youth, his handsome looks, and 
his unconventional manner of life also contributed to 
its popularity. A critic of those days has remarked 
how it was a greater favourite with women than with 
men. The die was cast. Byron decided to give up 


all his other ambitions and to devote himself entirely 
to poetry. 

After having become a celebrity the poet was more 
circumspect as to what he wrote or said. Up to that 
time he was under the impression that his greatest 
talent lay in satire. He was hoping to gain more fame 
by his Hints from Horace, written in March i8ii, than 
from Childe Harold. But once he stumbled on a new 
road to fame, he suppressed his Hints and also his 
Curse of Minerva, and went so far as to burn the fifth 
edition of English Bards; he commenced to compose 
Eastern romances such as The Giaour, Lara, etc. 

The remaining phases of the poet's life and his other 
works need no extended' notice here. His great po- 
pularity in England did not last long. His marriage 
to Miss Milbanke on January 2, 181 3, and his wife's 
separation from him a year afterwards, on the birth of 
his daughter Ada, combined with other circumstances, 
some real others fanciful, brought great obloquy on his 
name, and he left England for good in 1816. After 
travelling through Belgium and along the Rhine* he 
spent a season in Switzerland on the borders of the 
Lake Leman, where he came in contact with the Shel- 
leys, and contracted an intimacy with Miss Clare Clair- 
mont, half-sister of Mrs. Shelley and mother of his 
natural daughter Allegra. He then went to Italy and 
tixed his residence at Venice, 


In 1816 he brought out his third Canto of Childe 
Harold and in 1818 the fourth; the former devoted. to 
the Rhine and Switzerland, and the latter to Italy. 
There is a <R>od deal of difference between the earlier 
and later Cantos. In the first two, when he was young, 
he treats the subject more objectively, and also intro- 
duces in his composition many archaic words and phra- 
ses. In the other two, when he had more experience 
of the world, he writes in a much more high and 
brilliant vein, and is free from archaisms. 

During 1818 to 1823 he published his Don Juan, 
which, considered purely from the literary pojnt of 
view, is superior to all his other works, but unfortuna- 
tely cctoo free for these very modest days» and not of 
a kind to be adopted as a text-book in colleges and 
schools. His Vision of Judgment, published in 1822, 
is unrivalled as a satire. It is during his stay in Italy 
that he brought out all his dramas : Man/red, Marino 
Faliero, Sardanapalus, Cain, and others. 

At Venice he made the acquaintance of Countess 
Guiccioli, and formed a faux menage with her in 
Januaiw 1X20. He then changed his residence succes- 
sively to Ravenna, Pisa, and Genoa. The Countess 
has written a book consisting mostly of opinions formed 
by different authors of his characters l , The poet was 

1 Lord Byron juge par les temoins de sa vie. 2 vol Paris, 1868. 
Published anonymously. 


perhaps more devoted to her than to anv other woman. 
He lived with her till the time he left for Greece, to 
support the Greek cause against the Turks; he died at 
Missolonghi on April 24, 1824, of rheumatic fever. The 
circumstances attending his untimely death, for he was 
only thirty six years and three months, combined with 
his superb poetical genius, gave rise to real sorrow 
and regret all over Great Britain, and also to a w r ide 
extent over the Continent. In a work entitled Le Der- 
nier Chant de Guide Harold Lamartine has described 
Byron's last actions and last thoughts. 

Byron has been styled a poet of Revolution. There 
is no doubt that in many of his writings he shows the 
spirit of Rousseau and Voltaire. He is opposed to the 
monarchical form of government; he sighs for republics 
everywhere; he exposes hvpocrisv in matters of reli- 
gion, and is an ardent apostle of freedom. In his two 
speeches in the House of Lords he spoke in defence of 
labourers who had taken part in riots, and in favour 
of the emancipation of Irish Catholics. Although ra- 
dical In his opinions he was an aristocrat by instinct. 
In Italy he became a carbonaro and helped the cause 
of Italian unity; and he sacrificed his life in. the cause 
of Greek independence. With a temperament like his, 
so mobile and impulsive, it is difficult to sav what he 
would not have done had he lived long enough. He 
might have ended as a King of Greece, or even as a 


great apostle of Christiariitv, after having made bonfire 
of all his writings. 

Byron's other writings referring to Portugal are 

three poems — the most important of which is StdJi^as 
to a Lady with the Poems of Camoens -and three 
letters, giving an account of his travels in the Peninsula. 

A suggestion has been thrown out that the poet's 
mind was never quite sane. This is quite possible, lor 
there were marked traits of insanity and of crime both 
on his father's and mother's side. There is no doubt 
that his splendid poetical genius was combined with 
many moral or, what his adversaries called, 'satanic 1 
delinquencies. He was generous and affectionate, but 
he was also extremely irritable, proud, and passionate. 
With Lord Byron, says Dr. Kennedy, dove must reign 
paramount to all laws and principles, moral and divine, 
and death and damnation must be encountered, rather 
than restrain its impetuous and uncontrollable force. 
In short, it is a species of insanity, that takes possess- 
ion -of the mind, which absorbs every other feeling 
and interest »*. 

The works of Byron have been received with feel- 
ings, as mixed as his temperament. In Great Britain 
there has always existed a considerable prejudice against 
his private life, against some of his writings and many 

1 Kennedy (James): Conversations on Religion with Lord By- 
ron and others. London, is3o, pg 33i. 


of his political opinions. He is disliked in conservative 
circles, and lauded by the radicals. Some critics find 
fault with his technique. In Portugal he is admired 
for his great poetical talent, and for his charming 
picture of the natural beauties of Lisbon and Gintra, 
but is condemned for his description of the national 
character. In other countries on the Continent he is 
generally received with open arms: all unite in praising 
his poetical gifts, and not a few his radical ideas. The 
clericals dislike him. for his offensive religious views', 
but for this very quality he has the esteem of free- 
thinkers like Mazzini. A revolutionary cannot be ex- 
pected to please everybody. 

Of all the English poets there are only three whose 
names are widely known on the Continent. The first 
is Shakespeare, whose plays are very extensively read, 
but more in translations than in the. original. Milton 
comes next, but curiously enough, he is known more 
by his name than by his works; but his name always 
goes with that of Shakespeare. Then comes Byron, 
the only one whose works are widely studied in the 
original and still more widely in numerous translations. 
Of all his poems the most prized, or at least the most 
widely studied, is his Childe Harold. 

1 A French clergyman, A. Julien, admired. Childe Harold so 
much that he translated it into French verse after expunging what 
he considered to be against his views. 


The materials for the life and works of Byron are 
extensive. To the Portuguese student I would special- 
ly recommend Macaulay's and Morley's Essays on Lord 
Byron; Taine's description of Byron and his works in 
his Histoirc de la litterature atiglaise; and Elze's Bio- 
graphy l . Byron is now judged more by his works than 
by his private life, although his private life and his 
sympathies or hatreds cannot be separated altogether 
from his works. In Portuguese the best work on his 
visit to Lisbon is by Alberto Telles 2 . -There has been 
a considerable revival of Byron during the last thirty 

The following study is divided into three Parts: 
the First contains simply the text of Childe Harold's 
PilgiHmage to Portugal; -the Second is devoted to 
Notes and Comments on each stanza: and the Third 
deals with his other Poems and Letters referring to 

i Elze (Karl): Lord Byron, 3c Auf. Berlin, 1886. 

2 Telles (Alberto): Lord Byron em Portugal. Lisboa, 1879. 





Byron opens his Poem with an invocation; then 
treats of Childe Harold's discontent and of his last 
« Good-Night», and in the xiv. Stanza proceeds to speak 
of Portugal. 


On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone, 
And winds are rude in Biscay's sleepless bay. 
Four days are sped, but with the fifth, anon, 
New shores descried make every bosom gay; 
And Gintra's mountain greets them on their way, 
And Tagus dashing onward to the Deep, 
His fabled golden tribute bent to pay; 
And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap, 
And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap. 


Oh, Christ 1 it is a goodly sight to see 
What Heaven hath done for this delicious land! 
What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree! 
What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand! 
But man would mar them with an impious hand: 
And when the Almighty lifts His fiercest scourge 
'Gainst those who most transgress His high command, 
With treble vengeance will His hot shafts urge 
Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest foemen purge. 



What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold! 
Her image floating on that noble tide, 
Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold, 
But now whereon a thousand keels did ride 
OF mighty strength, since Albion was allied. 
And to the Lusians did her aid afford: 
A nation swoln with ignorance and pride. 
Who lick, vet loathe, the hand that waves the sword 
To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing lord. 


But whoso entereth within this town. 
That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,. 
Disconsolate will wander up and down, 
'Mid many things unsightly to strange ee; 
For hut and palace show like filthily; 
The dingy denizens are reared in dirt; 
No personage of high or mean degree 
Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt. 
Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, unwash'd, unhurt. 


Poor, paltry slaves! yet born 'midst noblest scenes — 
Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men r 
Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes 
In variegated maze of mount and elen. 
Ah me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen, 
To follow half on which the eye dilates 
Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken 
Than those whereof such things the Bard relates. 
Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's gates? 



The horrid crags, by-toppling convent crowned, 
The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep, 
.The mountain moss by scorching skies imbrown'd, 
The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep, 
The tender azure of the unruffled deep. 
The orange tints that gild the greenest bough, 
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap, 
The vine on high, the willow branch below. 
Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beautv glow. 


Then slowly climb the many-winding way, 

And frequant turn to linger as vou go, 
From loftier rocks new loveliness survev. 
And rest ye at «Our Lady's House of Woe»; 
Where frugal monks their little relics show, 
And sundry legends to the stranger tell: 
Here impious men have punish'd been; and lo, 
Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell, 
In hope to merit Heaven bv making earth a Hell. 


And here and there, as up the crags you spring, 
Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path; 
Yet deem not these Devotion's offering — 
Thes2 are memorials frail of murderous wrath: 
For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath 
Pour'd forth his blood beneath the assassin's knife, 
Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath; 
And g-rove and glen with thousand such are rife 
Throughout this purple land, Avhere Law secures not life! 

4 childe harold's pilgrimage. 


On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, 
Are domes where whilome kings did make repair: 
But now the wild flowers round them only breathe; 
Yet ruined Splendour still is lingering there, 
And yonder towers the Prince's palace fair: 
There thou, too, Vathek! England's wealthiest son, 
Once form'd thy Paradise, as not aware 
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done, 
.Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun. 


Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan, 
Beneath von mountain's ever beauteous brow; 
But now, as if a thing unblest by Man, 
Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as Thou! 
Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow 
To Halls deserted, portals gaping wide; 
Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how 
Vain are the pleasaunces On earth supplied; 
Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide. 


Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened! 
Oh! dome displeasing unto British eve! 
With diadem hight Foolscap, lo! a Fiend, 
A little Fiend that scoffs incessantly, 
There sits in parchment robe arrayed, and bv 
His side is hung a seal and sable scroll. 
Where blazoned glare names known to chivalrv, 
And sundry signatures adorn the roll, 
Whereat the Urchin points, and laughs with all his soul. 



Convention is the dwarfish demon styled 
That foiled the knights in Marialva's dome: 
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled. 
And turn'd a nation's shallow joy to gloom. 
Here Folly dash'd to earth the victor's plume, 
And Policy regain'd what arms had lost: 
For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom! 
Woe to the conquering, not the conquer'd host. 
Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast. 


And ever since that martial Synod met. 
Britannia sickens, Gintra, at thv name; 
And folks in office at the mention fret. 
And fain would blush, if blush they could, for shame. 
How will Posterity the deed proclaim! 
Will not our own and fellow-nations sneer. 
To view these champions cheated of their fame, 
Bv foes in fight o'er thrown, vet victors here, 
Wnere Scorn her finger points through many a coming year? 


So deem'd the Childe, as o'er the mountains he 
Did take his way in solitary guise: 
Sweet was the scene, vet soon he thought to flee, 
More restless than the swallow in the skies: 
Though here awhile he learned to moralize. 
For Meditation rix'd at times on him. 
And conscious Reason whisper'd to despise 
His earlv vouth misspent in maddest whim; 
But as he gazed on truth, his aching eves grew dim. 



To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits 
A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul: 
Again he rouses from his moping iits, 
But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl. 
Onward he flics, nor fixed as vet the goal 
Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage; 
And o'er him many changing scenes must roll, 
Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage, 
Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience sage. 


Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay, 
Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' luckless queen, 
And Church and Court did mingle their arrav, 
And Mass and revel were alternate seen; 
Lordlfngs and freres — ill-sorted fry, I ween! 
But here the Babylonian whore had built 
A dome, where flaunts she in such glorious sheen, 
That men forget the blood which she hath spilt, 
And bow the knee to Pomp that loves to garnish guilt. 


O'er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills, 
(Oh that such hills upheld a free born race!) 
Whereon to gaze the eye with jovaunce fills, 
Childe Harold wends through many a pleasant place. 
Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, 
And marvel men should quit their easv chair, 
The toilsome wav, and long, long league to trace, 
Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air. 
And Life, that bloated Ease can never hope to share. 



More bleak to view the hills at length recede. 
And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend; 
Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed! 
Far as the eve discerns, withouten end, 
Spain's realms appear, whereon her shepherds tend 
Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader knows 
Now must the Pastor's arm his lambs defend: 
For Spain is compass'd by unyielding foes, 
An. all must shield their all, or share Subjection's woes. 


Where Lusitania and her Sister meet, 
Deem ve what bounds the rival realms divide? 
Or ere the jealous Queens of Nations greet, 
Doth Tavo interpose his mightv tide? 
Or dark Sierras rise in craeey pride? 
Or fence of art, like China's vasty wall? — 
Ne barrier wall, rie river deep and wide, 
Ne horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall, 
Rise like the rocks that part Hispania's land from Gaul: 


But these between a silver streamlet glides, 
And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook, 
Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides. 
Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook, 
And vacant on the rippling waves doth look, 
That peaceful still 'tvvixt bitterest foemen flow: 
For proud each peasant as the noblest duke: 
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know 
'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low. 

8 childe harold's pilgrimage. 

The live Notes which Lord Byron made to these 
Stanzas will be quoted in the next Part. Several editors 
issue Childe Harold without any notes; they forget 
that these were intended either to explain the text or 
to apologize for the mistakes made in it. 




On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone. 
And winds are rude in Biscay's sleepless bav 
Four days are sped, but with the fifth anon 1 -. 
New shores descried make every bosom gav ; 
And Cintra's mountain greets them on their way, 
And Tagus dashing onward to the deep. 
His fabled golden tribute bent to pav; 
And soon on board the Lusian 11 - pilots leap. 
And steer 'twixt fertile shores where vet few rustics reap. 

I. Four days are sped, but with the fifth anon. 
On July 2, 1809, Lord Byron sailed from Falmouth 
with his friend Mr. Hobhouse, and after a favourable 
voyage landed at Lisbon on the 7th. In a letter to 
Hodgson, dated June 25, he says: «I leave England 
without regret — I shall return to it without pleasure. 
I am like Adam, the first convict sentenced to transpor- 
tation, but I have no Eve, and have eaten no apple but 
what was sour as a crab». He also sends his friend 
in the same letter, posted a few days later on, his Lines 
to Mr. Hodgson. Written on board the Lisbon packet, 
which will be quoted in the next Part. Among the 
poet's attendants there were Fletcher, his valet, faithful 
to him unto the end; Joe Murray, his old butler; and 
Robert Rushton, the son of one of his tenants. He 
sent back to England the latter two from Gibraltar. 


Regarding young Rushton, Byron remarks: «I like him, 
because, like myself, he seems a friendless animata. 

II. Lusian. An English annotator, in an edition of 
Childe Harold published in 191 3, says that Lusian 
is «more correctly Lusitanian. Byron seems to have 
coined the epithet by analogy with Camoens' national 
epic, the Lusiad (Os Lusiadas)*. Both the statements 
have no foundation. 

Lusian in English is as correct as Lusitanian: the 
former is an adjective from Luso, just as the latter 
is from Lusitania. The word Luso has existed from the 
time of the Romans. Pliny says: «Luso enim liberi Pa- 
tris, ac Lysian cum eo bacchantem, nomen dedisse Lusi- 
tania* r . And Camoens refers to the same word thus: 

This Lusitania was; in whom we greet 
Luso, or Lysa, who the offsprings were, 
Or friends, of ancient Bacchus, as appears 
And the first dwellers there in early years 2 . 

Up to the time of Camoens the adjective in use was 
Lysian, but probably because Lysa or Lisa has in Por- 
tuguese other meanings the form Luso was preferred, 
and the great poet was probably the first to use it this 
way. In English the word Lusian was employed, not 
to go further back, in i655 by Fanshaw in his translation 
Of the Lusiads. It is certainly not a neologism due 
to Byron. 

Camoens was the first to coin the word Lusiadas, 
in imitation of Iliadas, from Ilion, commonly known as 

1 Plinius: Naturalis Historia; lih. in., cap. 1. 

2 Camoens: The Lusiads, translated into English verse hy J. 
J. Aubertin, 2 vol. London, 1878, Canto III., St. 21, 11. 5-8. 


Troy; or in imitation of AeneidaSj the work or doings 
of Aeneas. Os Lusiadas is rendered into English either 
as The Lusiad,, or The Lusiads, the former being more 
frequent than the latter. Lusiad would give in English 
Lasiadic or Lusiadan but not Lusian. 

St. XIV: — 1. 5, Cintra's mountain. Vid. St. XVIII. , 
N. ii. — 1. 7, Golden tribute, lid. St. XVI., N. i. — 1. 9, 
Rustics reap. Shows the season in which the poet 
came to Lisbon. 


Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see 1 - 
What Heaven hath done for this delicious land! 
What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree! 
What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand! 
But man would mar them with an impious' hand: 
And when the Almighty lifts His fiercest scourge 
'Gainst those who most transgress His hia;h command. 
With treble vengeance will His hot shafts urge 
Gaul's locust host 11 - and earth from fellest foemen purge. 

I. A goodly sight to see. In his Don Juan Byron 
says that ((description is his forte ». The few lines 
which he devotes first to the Tagus and then to Lisbon 
are quite characteristic of his manner. The ideas are 
not new, but they are expressed in a style which is 
quite his own. And how irresistibly superior is his 
talent in this respect, is easily seen by comparing, for 
instance, his lines with those of Mickle on the same 

Forgive, fair Thames, the song of truth that pays 
To Tago's empress-stream superior praise, 
O'er every vauntful river be it thine 
To boast the guardian shield of laws divine; 


But yield to Tagus all the sovereign state 
By Nature's gift bestow'd and partial Fate: 
The sealike port and central sway to pour 
Her fleets, by happiest course, on every shore. 
And Lisboa towering o'er lordly stream 
Her marble palaces and temples spreads 
Wildly magnific o'er the loaded heads 
Of bending hills i. 

As regards Lisbon itself there are a couple of 
glowing descriptions In Portuguese poetry which may 
be recorded here. 

Camoens salutes the city thus: 

E tu nobre Lisboa, que no mundo 
Facilmente das outras es princesa, 

Tu a quern obedece o mar prof undo. 

And thou, proud Lisbon, who midst earth's displays 

Princess o'er others easily dost sway, 

Thou, whom the deep and boundless sea obeys 2 

C. III., st. ?7, 11. i, 2 and 5. 

And Pereira de Castro characterises it by saying: 

Aqui . . . 

Tendes um mundo numa Cidade 

A quern de prata e de ouro o Tejo banha 

Em signal da sua eterna gratidao 2 . 

i Mickle (J.W.): Poems and Tragedy. London, s. d., pp. 192 
and i(h). Mickle came to Lisbon in 1770. The Kin^-Consort 
D. Pedro III. gave him a public reception in recognition of the 
valuable service he had rendered to Portuguese letters by trans- 
lating Os Lusiadas into English. The King was, no doubt, led 
to this decision by the Duke of Lafoes, the illustrious patron of 
letters, and the founder of the Royal Academy of Sciences. 

- Castro (Gabriel Pereira de): Ulyssea 011 Lisboa Edificada. 
Lisboa, 1637, C. X., st. i3~, 11. 1-4. 


Here . . . 

You have in one Citv a whole world. 
Bathed by the Tagus with silver and gold 
In token of eternal gratitude. 

To feel the full effect of these quotations from Ca- 
moens and Castro it is necessary to read them in the 

Those interested in the appearance of Lisbon in the 
days of Byron will find in Landmann's Observations 
on Portugal 1 an excellent panoramic view more than 
one and a half metres long 2 . 

•(But man would mar», says Byron, «the fragrant 
fruits and the goodly prospects with an impious hand». 
This is an allusion to the ravages committed during the 
Peninsular War. 

II. His hot shafts urge Gauls locust host. In the 
original MS. after the words «his hot shafts urge» stood 
the following line: 

[The Lusian brutes, and earth from worse of wretches purge?.] 

This and other similar lines and notes are quoted 
merely to show how strong and intense was Byron's 
prejudice against the Portuguese. A French annotator 
almost resents the substitution. It would have been 
much better if the poet had retained the original line, 

i Landmann (George): Historical, Military and Picturesque 
Observations on Portugal, 2. vol. London, 1821, end of vol. 11. 

2 In English measures 1 metre (m.) is equal to 3.2 feet, and 
1 kilometre (km.) to of) mile. 

3 The quotations referring to the manuscript are from the 
before mentioned Dallas's Recollections and from The Works of 
Lord Byron: Part II. Poetry, edited by E. H. Coleridge, 7 vol., 
London, 1898-1904. 


for it shows clearly, at the very commencement of his 
Pilgrimage to Portugal what his frame of mind was 
towards the Portuguese. 

The French invaded Portugal on three occasions. 
The principal aim of Napoleon in doing so was to com- 
plete the Continental blockade, and thereby inflict a 
blow on the commerce of England. 

In November 1807 Junot marched without any oppo- 
sition to Lisbon. The influence of the name of Napo- 
leon was so great, and his military genius produced 
such a benumbing influence that the Prince Regent and 
his government thought it expedient not to offer any 
resistance — not to shed the blood of his people needless- 
lv. Some might say that it would have been glorious 
to fight and to die. But the Prince Regent thought 
otherwise, and he with his insane Mother and the whole 
of" the royal family fled to Brazil. It has to be remem- 
bered that on this occasion Spain had joined the French 
and that their combined army consisted of upwards of 
5o,ooo men. The English government of those days 
took credit to themselves for the flight of the Prince 
Regent, and the English writers condemned the Portu- 
guese for not fighting the French. The French thought 
that the people had behaved with prudence, but that it 
was the Prince Regent who had shown the white feather. 
Both parties judged in the light of their own interests. 
And this is the way that history, especially history for 
the general public, is always written. When the people 
found how they had fallen into the hands of the foreigner, 
whose professions entirely belied their actions, Avhen 
they discovered that they had topay a contribution of one 
hundred millions of francs to the Emperor, they were 
furious beyond measure. There was a tierce riot when 


the national flag was hauled down, and the populace 
was dispersed only after a heavy charge of cavalry. 
The} r did all they could to get rid of the enemy, and, 
as soon as it was possible, Revolutionary Juntas were 
formed all over the country, especially at Oporto, Bra- 
ganza, and Olhao. In the spring of 1808 Napoleon 
had declared war against his friends and Allies, the 
Spaniards, and occupied Madrid after a feeble resistance 
of only two days. When the English Government, 
who were on the look out for a weak point in Napoleon's 
armour, found that there was an insurrection in Portu- 
gal, they decided to help their ancient ally. Sir Arthur 
Wellesley, after a consultation with the Supreme Junta 
at Oporto, landed with an expeditionary force at the 
mouth of the Mondego in August, 1808. Soon after- 
wards was gained the victory of Yimeiro, which led to. 
the Convention of Cintra, and to the abandonment of 
Portugal by Junot with his French troops. 

The second invasion, which took place in March 
1809, was carried out by Soult. who succeeded in 
occupving Oporto. On this occasion also the enemy 
was driven out of the country bv the combined action 
of the Allies, so that, when Byron came to Lisbon in 
July, there was not a single French soldier on the Por- 
tuguese soil, whereas there were some Luso-British 
troops in Spain fighting against the common enemy. 

The third and the last invasion under Massena 
occurred in August 18 10. The Portuguese troops on 
this occasion behaved in such a heroic manner that they 
merited the applause both of their friends and foes, 
and the civil population showed such remarkable pa- 
triotism that there was a complete change of opinion 
in England regarding their character. A public sub- 


scription was raised in Great Britain in their favour in 
1811, and Parliament went so far as to make a public 
grant. There will be occasion to refer to some of the 
facts connected with these invasions further on. 

It may be mentioned here that Byron was a great 
admirer of Napoleon. During the Peninsular War he 
in a way rather sympathised with him than with his 
own people or his own government. And this is one of 
the reasons why his poems have always been so much 
admired in France. 


What beauties doth Lisboa L first unfold! 
Her image floating on that noble tide. 
Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold 11 -. 
But now whereon a thousand keels did ride 
Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied. 
And to the Lusians did her aid afford: 
A nation swoln with ignorance and pride, 
Who lick, vet loathe, the hand that waves the sword 111 - 
To save them from the wrath of Gaol's unsparing lord. 

I. Lisboa. With reference to this word Byron wrote: 
[A friend advises Ulissipont, but Lisboa is the Portu- 
guese word, consequently the best. Ulissipont is pe- 
dantic; and as I had lugged \n Hellas and Eros not 
long before, there would have been something like an 
affectation of Greek terms, which I wished to avoid. 
On the submission of Lusitania to the Moors, they 
changed the name of the capital, which till then had 
been Ulisipo or Lispo; because, in the Arabic alphabet 
the letter p is not used. Hence, I believe, Lisboa, 
whence again, the French Lisbonne, and our Lisbon, — 
God knows which the earlier corruption !» — Byron. MS.] 


The friend referred to Is Mr. Dallas. 

The word Lisboa is generally considered to have 
its origin in all's nbo of the Phoenicians, which means 
a pleasant estuary. Some mediaeval writers have attri- 
buted its foundation to a great-grandson of Abraham, 
fixing the date at the year 3209 B. C.; and others to 
Eltsa, a great-grandson of Noah, in 2i5o! During a long 
time it was supposed that its origin was due to Llj'sses, 
who, it was said, came to Lisbon after the siege of 
Troy, and finding the city in ruins rebuilt it and gave 
it the name of Ulyssea. It is with reference to this 
that Camoens in his Os Lusiadas says: 

And see'st thou one who treads on Tagus' shore. 

After o'er such vast oceans having gone 

Where everlasting walls he rears on high 

And Pallas' temple fresh in memory! 

Ulysses 'tis the Goddess' fame doth raise 

She who on him eloquence bestows; 

If he. in Asia.Trov in ashes lavs. 

In Europe here by him vast Lisbon grows. 

C. VIII, st. 4, 11. 5-8, and st. 5, !!. [-4. 

In the xvii. century Antonio de Sousa Macedo based 
his epic poem Olyssipo upon this legend; and Pereira 
de Castro gave the name of Ulyssea to one of his poems. 

During the Roman period the Phoenician word Ali- 
subo was converted into Olisippo (Yarro), Olisipon 
(Ptolemy), Ulysippo (Pomponius Mela), and Ulvssea 
(Strabo). Officially, during the reign of Julius Cesar, 
it was given the name of Felicitas Julia. The Moors 
styled it Aschbuna orAschbouna. And the Christians 
converted it first into Ulixbuna, Lixbuna and Lixbona, 
and afterwards into Lixboa and Lisboa. Its Latin name 

1 8 childe Harold's pilgrimage. 

is still Olisipo. It is curious that the abbreviated form 
of the word Lisboa even now is Lx. a and not Ls. a 
The conversion of Lisboa or boa into bonne in French, 
and bon in English is natural enough. 

Byron makes a casual reference to the view of Lis- 
bon in a letter to Moore, m which he says: «I sham go 
to Naples. It is but the second best sea-view, and I 
have seen the first and the third, viz. Constantinople 
and Lisbon (by the way, the last is but a river-view; 
however they reckon it after Stamboul and Naples, and 
before Genoa) and Vesuvius is silent*. (Venice, April 
u, 1817). 

II. Poets vainly pai e with sands of gold. In the 
manuscript this line stood thus: 

[Which poets, prone to lie. have paved with gold.] 

Byron and some of his commentators do not rely on 
the authority of poets like Ovid, Juvenal, Martial and 
others, and so reference will be made here only to prose 
writers. Pomponius Mela says : «Et Tagi ostium omnis 
gemmas aurumque generantisw 1 . And Pliny writes: 
«Tagus auriferis arenis celebratur» 2 . There is no 
doubt that the presence of gold in the margin of the 
Tagus was well known to the Romans. 

During the Moorish period, according to Edrisi, 
the extraction of gold formed one of the occupations 
of the inhabitants of Al Ma'dan (at present Almada), a 

1 Pomponius Mela: Dc situ orbis, Li v III., cap. 1. 
- Plinius: Op. cit., Lib. IV. cap. 35. 


village just opposite to Lisbon, which was so named on 

account of its sand containing gold. He says that he 
himself saw the extraction of gold there 1 . 

According to reliable records, in the xin. century 
Don Dinis had his crown and sceptre made from the 
gold obtained from the border of the Tagus 2 . The 
mines were situated at Adica on the Ta^us near the 
lagoon of Albufeira. In the first quarter of the last cen- 
tury a fresh attempt to extract gold was made by Jose 
Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva. In one of his reports 
Sr. Choifat 3 gives a detailed account of the new mine 
at Adica, styled «The Royal Gold-Mine, the Prince- 
-Regentt). The profit of this concern from 1814 to 
1 8 19 was about £ ftbQ. From all these facts it is clear 
that poets prone to lie did not lie in this instance. 

III. Who lick, yet loathe, the hand that waves the 
sword, a Who lick, yet loathes is a poetic alliteration 
which is not to be taken too seriously, for a poet has 
a right to certain exaggerations. But, unfortunately, 
there are people who take Byron's words, both in this 
and his other references to the Portuguese, quite lite- 
rally. No Englishman In those days was disliked for 
being an Englishman, without some special cause. 
They were all admired for their fine physique. Dr. 

1 Edrisi: Description de L'Afrique et de L'Espagne Pub. et 
trad, par R. Dozy et M. J. de Goeje. Leyde, [866, pg 223 

2 Vid. Resendius (L. Andrea): De anliqtxitatibus Lusitanice, 
2 vol. Conimbricae, 1700, vol. 11, pg. 106. 

3 Ghoffat (Paul): Sur les sables auri feres, marine, d' Adica, 
in «Communicac5e3» da Commis <ao do Service Geologico de 
Portugal, vol. ix. Lisboa, 1912-1913, pg. 5. 

*2o childe harold's pilgrimage. 

Halliday, who had a hundred times more opportunities 
than Byron to judge the character of the Portuguese 
of those days, and who, in some respects, was not fa- 
vourably inclined towards them, writes: « Certainly 
there never was a body of people more united, or more 
sincerely attached to the British than the Portuguese. 
I am sorry to add, that kindness and friendship is often 
not requited by us as it ought » l . And Southey, writing 
some years later remarks: « There were members (in 
Parliament) who boldly asserted that the Portuguese 
did not like the English. A more groundless assertion 
has seldom been hazarded there» 2 . 

Some Englishmen of those days, especially such as 
had suffered in their material interests, owing to the 
French invasion, misrepresented for their own ends not 
only every thing that the Portuguese did or said, but 
even distrusted their own countrymen like Beresford 
and Welleslev. And some military men thought noth- 
ing of poking fun at the expense of their Portuguese 
comrades; and these had no means of defending them- 
selves or explaining their conduct to the public in Eng- 

St. XVI: — 1. 4, Thousand keels. When Byron 
came to Lisbon the English fleet was anchored in the 
Tagus. — 1. 7, Ignorance and pride. Vid. St. XXI., N. i, 
for Herculano's and Joao de Lemos's opinion on this 

i Halliday (Andrew): The present state of Portugal. Edin- 
burgh, 1812, pg. 296. 

2 Southey (Robert): History of the Peninsular }Yar. New 
edition. London, 1828, vol. 11., part r., pg. 3Sy. 



But whoso entereth within this town. 
That, sheening far, celestial seems to be, 
Disconsolate will wander up and down, 
'Mid manv things unsightly to strange ee 1 -; 
For hut and palace show like filthily: 
The dingy denizens are rear'd in dirt; 
No personage of high or mean degree 
Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt; 
Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, unwash'd, unhurt 11 - 

I. 'Mid many things unsightly to strange ee. 
This line in the original MS. was: 

['Mid many things that grieve both nose and ee.] 

There is no doubt that Lisbon in those days was 
dirty; first, because the border of the Tagus was not 
vet embanked, and the foreshore at low tide, being 
exposed to a width of 240 to 36o metres, gave rise to 
obnoxious inhalations; and, secondly, because the inha- 
bitants were in the habit of throwing, after 22 o'clock, 
in the public streets all the house refuse, and the poorer 
classes even something worse, for in those days all the 
quarters of the town were not provided with sewers. 
In several respects it was neither better nor worse than 
some other large commercial seaport towns elsewhere. 
Had Byron commenced his journey in Asia Minor and 
ended it in Portugal, he would not have found in Lisbon 
so «manv things unsightly to strange ee». In 1818, 
according to a writer in the Quarterly Review (vol. xix., 
pg. 7), there were three stinking cities in Europe, namely, 


Lisbon, Edinburgh and Geneva. Probably he had not 
visited many others. 

Compared with London the Portuguese capital has 
some peculiarities which it is necessary to explain, 
especially as there are persons, even today who believe, 
in all good faith, that Lisbon is not a clean city. It is 
very important to bear in mind that the Praca do Comer- 
cio or the Black-Horse Square corresponds to White- 
hall in London, in which are to be found almost all 
the Ministerial Offices; and that the Rua Aur^a and 
Rua Garrett, the counterparts of Regent and New Bond 
Streets, are situated in the centre of the town by the 
side of the river, and have on one side the Arsenal, the 
Ship-building yard, and the Fish-Market, and on the 
other the Alfama and the Mouraria, that is, places 
corresponding to Poplar and Wapping in the East of 
London. A stranger cannot reside long in Lisbon 
without passing through or quite near its «East-End» 
quarters, whereas he may reside in London the whole 
of his life without going even once to its East-End. 
This is the reason whv some of the streets and some 
of the people one sees in Lisbon are not clean. Working 
people, especially if they are poor, cannot always be 
clean. Besides all this, at the commencement of the 
last century the middle classes considered it unbecoming 
to walk in the streets of Lisbon on week-days; they 
came out only on Sundays ! Very Likely therefore Bvr< »n 
only saw the lower classes. If to-morrow Black-Horse 
Square could be bodily removed to a distance of one 
or two kilometres to the north of the Tagus, Lisbon 
would become quite clear, as though by a miracle. The 
residents of the West-End of London or of inland towns, 
who visit Lisbon for the first time, do not realise manv 


of these facts, but those who come from Glasgow. 
Liverpool and such other sea-port towns, often praise 
the cleanliness of Lisbon, for they know from experience 
how difficult it is to keep a large commercial and Indus,. 
trial sea-port quite tidy and clean. 

An instance of how easily people can misjudge their 
neighbours was noticed by me not long ago. I was 
walking one day with a newly arrived Englishman in 
the Champs-Elysees in Paris, when he suddenly remark- 
ed: «Do vou know the French people must be really 
mad? See how all of them drive towards the right !» 
My friend did not realise at once that other people could 
haye rules for their street traffic different from those 
in Great Britain. 

Thomas Ribeiro, one of the greatest Portuguese 
poets of the last century, in his well-known Ode to 
Portugal, after referring to the past glories of his coun- 
trymen, to the discoveries of new seas and new conti- 
nents, and haying in mind those foreigners who, like 
Byron, look down upon the Portuguese, says: 

Se alguem menosprejar o teu manto pobre 
Ri-tu do fat no que se julga nobre! 

If any scorn thv coat of poverty 
Laueh at the fool and his nobility! i 

II. Though shen t with Egypt's plague, unkempt, 
umvasKd, unhurt. 

Some misapprehension as regards the meaning of 
this line exists in the minds of some of the French 

1 Ribeiro (Thomas): «A Portugal: To Portugal*, in Poems 
from the Portuguese, by Aubrey F. G. Bell. Oxford, iqi3, pg. 07. 


translators; they say: «Kt fuissent Us attaquee de la 
plaie cTEgypte, ils n'en donneraientpas pour cela plus de 
soins a leurs personnes, et n'en seraient pas plus emus», 
or «if they were to be attacked with the plague of 
Egypt they would not take more care of their persons 
or be more moved". The meaning of the line is not 
what would happen but what did happen when there 
was such a plague in Lisbon. The plagues of Egypt, 
as described in the Exodus, are «ten»; one of these is 
the plague of « flies and insects ». Byron evidently re- 
fers to this plague, for in his letter to Hodgson, w 7 ritten 
from Lisbon, he complains of «bites from mosquitoes». 
It may be mentioned that a large portion of Lisbon is 
at present free from this pest. 

St. XVII: — 1. 2, Sheening. Shining or glittering from 
a distance. 


Poor, paltry slaves! vet born 'midst noblest scenes — 
Why, Nature, waste thv wonders on such men 1 '? 
Lo ! Cintra's glorious Eden 11, intervenes 
In variegated maze of mount and glen. 
Ah me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen. 
To follow half on Avhich the eye dilates 
Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken 
Than those w hereof such things the Bard relates. 
Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's gates? 

1. Why, Nature, ivaste thy wonders on such men? 

Byron and other writers who think with him that 
Nature has wasted her wonders on the Portuguese are 
quite mistaken. Nature does not waste her gifts. 
The Portuguese, throughout their history, have shown 
themselves the products of their environment. They 



have just as much reason to be romantic and idealistic 
as the Scotch have to be practical and hard working. 
It is their romantic temperament that led them to under- 
take voyages of discovery known to every school boy. 
It is due to their natural surroundings that thev have 
the advantage of acclimatisation in many parts of the 
world where people from the north degenerate in one 
(Y two generations; it is owing to the nature of their 
country that they are sober and temperate, gay and 
contented. Those who are interested in this subject 
may be referred to the chapter on the influence of cli- 
mate upon the physiological and vital functions of the 
body and mind in my book on The Climate of Portu- 
gal K 

II. Lo! Cintra 9 s glorious Eden. The Mountains 
of Cintra are situated north-west of Lisbon, and are 
to be seen by all those who enter the Bay of Cascaes. 
Byron's description of Cintra surpasses that of every 
other writer. The strokes are few, but they give an 
accurate picture. A good deal of the renown of the 
place among English speaking people is due to him. 
There are writers who imagine that its beauties were 
never recognised before. This is a mistake. Here are 
a few brief extracts from the works of some of his pre- 

Gil Vicente, the great dramatic poet, describes it in 

i 529 as: 

Um jardim do paraiso terreal 
Que Salomao mandou aqui 
A hum Rei de Portugal. 

1 Dalgado (D. G.): The Climate of Portugal. Lisbon, 1914, 
pp. 2 18-2 5 1. 


A garden of the paradise terrestiaJ, 

Which Solomon sent here 
To a king of Portugal. ■ 

And he compares it to 

I hna damn folida, 
Brava, dulce y graciosa, 
Namomda e cngrandecidaK 

An elegant lady, 

Brave, sweet, and charming, 

Noble, proud, and loving. 

Luisa Sigea in a poem entitled Svntra, which she 
sent to Pope Paul III. in 1546, says: 

In feme vtridi densatur robora fronda 
Silvano et Satvris umbra domos 

Citrea mala rubent, vallis qua tandit ad imum, 

Qualis fert rutilans hortulus Hesperidum: 

Et lauri frondes, vietorum praemia quondam, 

Quaeque paetarum texere serta solent: 

Et mvrtus Veneri sacra crispatur in umbra: 

Cuncta placent fructu, floribus, ac redolent. 

Hie, Philomela canit, turtur gemit atque columba^: 

In the lower portion the oaks abound, and with 
their dense foliage give ample homes to Silvanus and 
Satyrus. . . The slopes of the Serra present flourishing 
lemon trees, as beautiful as those found in the garden 
of the Hesperides. Here are to be found the leaves 

1 Vicente (Gil): «Triumpho do inverno», in Obras, 3 vol. 
Hamburgo, [833, vol. 11., pp. 400 and 482. 

2 Vid. Ribeiro (Jose Silvestre de): Luisa Sigea. Memoria 
apresentada a Academia Rial das Sciencias. Lisboa, 1869, pg. 4?: 

not;:s and comments. 27 

of the laurel, formerly the reward of the victors, but 
which even now the poets place round their foreheads. 
The myrtle, so beloved of Venus, grows abundantly. 
Finally everything pleases us: the luscious fruits and 
the fragrance of flowers. Here sings the nightingale, 
and coos the turtle and the dove. 

Among English writers Jeremiah Thompson sings: 

Oh tell me what Goddess, what Muse or what Grace 
Could ever have formed such a beautiful placer 
Here are Flora's best Mowers in full blossom, and here is 
The work of Yertumnus, Pomona and Ceres. 

The author then says that Nature had collected all 
her materials, and was about to group her rocks and 
trees, when 

something did intrude. 

And therefore she left it wild, beautiful and rude. 

And Southey, the poet laureate, who was in Portu- 
gal in the winter of 1795 for six months, and again in 
1 800- 180 1 for a year, after remarking that at Cintra 

the tired mind 

Might rest beyond the murmurs of mankind. 

says: «I do not know how to describe to you the strange 
beauties of Cintra; it is, perhaps, more beautiful than 
sublime, more gorgeous than beautiful, vet I never be- 
held scenery more calculated to fill the beholder with 
admiration and delight. This immense rock or moun- 
tain rises into conical hills, formed of such immense 
stones and piled so strangely that all the machinery of 
deluges and volcanos must fail to satisfy the enqu ; ry 
of their origin*. He then describes the arid looking 

28 childe Harold's pilgrimage. 

plains away from Cintra, and adds: «Had I been born 
at Cintra, methinks no inducements could have tempted 
me to leave its delightful springs and shade* 1 . 

But none of these writers attain the same degree 
of imagery and beauty of expression as Byron. Cintra 
is no doubt an earthly paradise; 

«If on earth there is a bower of Bliss, 
It is this — it is this — it is this !» 

St. XVIII: — 1. i, Paltry slaves. Vid. St. XXXIII., 

N. i. — 1. 8, The Bard. Generally believed to be Dante, 
but may be also Virgil, who has in Book VI. of Aeneid 
an admirable description of the Elvsean fields, where 
Aeneas meets his father Anchises. 


The horrid crags, bv toppling convent crowned. 
The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep 1 . 
The mountain moss bv scorching skies imbrown'd, 
The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep, 
The tender azure of the unruffled deep, 
The orange tints that gild the greenest bough. 
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap. 
The vine on high, the willow branch below, 
Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beautv glow. 

I. T\\e cor J: trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep. 
These trees have always been admired by foreign visi- 

1 Southey (Robert): Letters from Spain and Portugal. 
Bristol, 1707. The third edition of this book was published one 
year before Byron came to Lisbon. The quotation from Jere- 
miah Thompson is given in these Letters on pg. 5l<). 


tors to Cintra. Southey says: a The cork is perhaps the 
most beautiful of trees, its leaves are small and have 
the dusk\" colour of evergreens... There is one tree 
in particular here which a painter might well come from 
England to see, large and old; its trunks and branches 
are covered with ferns — the yellow sun-burnt ferns — 
forming so dark a contrast to the dark foliage !'» This 
he wrote in the month of October. Later on the 
appearance of such trees is quite different. Then the 
ferns almost completely replace the leaves, and the 
whole tree forms a gigantic bouquet of moss and ferns. 
St. XIX:— 1. 1, Toppling convent. Vid. St. XX., N. i. 


Then slowly climb the many-winding wav, 

And frequent turn to linger as you go, 
From loftier rocks new loveliness survey, 
And rest ye at «Our Ladv's House of Woe»: ' v L 
-Where frugal monks their little relics show. 
And sundry legends to the stranger tell: 
Here impious men have punish'd been ; and lo. 
Deep in von cave Honorius 11 - long did dwell. 
In hope to merit Heaven bv making earth a Hell. 

(A.) The convent of «Our Lady of Punishment)) 
Nossa Senora de Pena, on the summit of the rock. 
Below, at some distance, is the Cork Convent, where 
St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. 

1 Southey (C. C): Southey's Life and Correspondence bv. . . 
6 vol. London, 1 849-1850, vol. 11., pg. 1 17. In his private correspon- 
dence R. Southev is loud in his praises of Cintra; he stvles it «the 
most blessed spot on the habitable globe», «my paradise, the 
heaven on earth of my hopes». 


From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view. 
(Note to i [ Edition). Since the publication of this 
poem, I have been informed of the misapprehension of 
the term Nossa Senora de Pena. It was owing to 
the want of the tilde or mark over the n, which alters 
the signification of the word: with it, Pena signified a 
rock; without it, Pena has the sense I have adopted. 
I do not think it necessary to alter the passage, as, 
though the common acceptance affixed to it is «Our Lady 
of the Rock», I may well assume the other sense from 
the severities practised there. (Note to the 2 nd Edi- 
tion.— B. N). 

I. Our Lady's House of Woe. The Monastery of 
Pena, which is now incorporated in the National Palace 
of Pena, has a very interesting history. It w T as built 
and endowed by Dom Manuel I. at the commencement 
of the xvi. century, to commemorate at Cintra, which 
was his favourite residence in summer, the famous dis- 
covery of the maritime route to India by Vasco da Gama. 
Originally its site was occupied by a chapel dedicated 
to Our Lady of Pena, erected in honour of the mira- 
culous appearance there of the Blessed Virgin. In 
course of time so great was the fame of this shrine that 
John II. having fallen ill in 1493 at Torres Yedras, made 
a vow to make a novena or nine days' devotion at Our 
Lady of Pena in the event of his recovery; and he 
camped out there with the Queen and fulfilled his vow 
with great piety and m great seclusion '. His successor 

1 Vid. Rezende (Garcia de): Chronica de D. Jo.lo II, 
cap. clxxi. 


Dom Manuel I. was in the habit, it is said,' of watching 
from one of the windows of the chapel die Lusitanian 

Sea for the arrival of the ships he had sent out to the 
East. When he received the happy news on August 
29, 1499, of the safe return of the expedition ofVasco 
da Gama he determined to replace the chapel by a 
Monastery, which he handed over to the Hieronyrnites. 
At the commencement it was occupied bv about 3o 
monks, but when Byron visited it the inmates did not 
exceed four or five. Like all other religious houses it 
was suppressed in i83q; its chapel is now the chapel 
of the Palace. The Peak of Pena attains an elevation 
of 328 metres or 1,732 feet. 

The Cork Convent or the Convent of the Holv 
Cross, popularly known in Portuguese as Capuchos, is 
situated at a distance of four kilometres to the west of 
Pena, and at about an elevation of 3oo metres or o5o 
feet. It was built in i56o by Alvaro de Castro in order 
to carry out the wishes of his father Dom Joao de Cas- 
tro, the famous fourth viceroy of India, and belonged 
to the Franciscans. It is still preserved as a historical 
curiosity, and it is near this Convent that <othe cave of 
Honorius)) is situated. It is styled Cork Convent on 
account of its walls and doors being covered with cork 
as a protection from cold. 

Sir Walter Scott pointed out to Lord Byron that 
he had made a mistake in translating Nossa Senhora 
da Pena into «Our Lady o£Woe». Pena in Portuguese 
is the antiquated form of Penha and does not require 
a tilde, as Byron thinks, to make it mean a rock. Pena, 
a rock, is derived from the latin pinna; whereas pena, 
sorrow or woe, is derived from poena. The form in 
use before the xvi. century was pena, as in Nossa Se- 

32 childe harold's pilgrimage. 

nhora da Pena, Penamacor, Penafiel, Penacova, etc.; 
whereas in all modern expressions it is penha, as in 
Quinta da Penha Verde, Convento da Penha Longa, 
Igreja da Penha de Franca, etc. In the Catholic liturgy 
there is no «Our Lady of Woe» nor «Our Lady of 
Punishments, but Mater Dolorosa, Our Lady of Dolours 
or Our Lady of Sorrow. The English equivalent of 
Nossa Senhora da Pena is Our Lady of the Rock. 

In his Note to the 2 nd edition Byron says that he 
might retain in the text «Our Lady of Woe » on account 
of the severities practised there. This is not quite 
accurate. The Hieronymites were not at all strict or 
frugal in their ways of life: quite the reverse. Those 
who were notorious for their piety and for their ascetic 
practices were the Franciscans. Philip II. of Spain, 
used to say that he had two very notable religious houses 
in his dominions: the Escurial for its riches, and the 
Cork Convent for its poverty. The text would no 
doubt, become more accurate by referring the whole 
description to the Convent of Santa Cruz ( Holy Cross) 
than to «Our Lady's House of Woe». 

At the commencement of the last century one of the 
roads leading to the Convent of Pena and also to the 
Cork Convent started from the Mansion of Seteais, 
called «Marialva's Dome» by Bvron, and to be referred 
to further on. To the Cork Convent itself there was, 
and still is, another road commencing near Monserrate. 
From the way Cintra is described it is probable that 
Bvron went up by the former and came down by the 
latter. It is believed that he spent one or two days in 
his «glorious Eden». Not long ago a room was shown, 
in what was known as Lawrence's Hotel, as having 
been occupied by him. 


II. Honor ius. This Franciscan monk at the Cork 
Convent, finding the tiny cell provided for him top good, 
dug a pit near by about a metre in diameter, and lived 
there day and night for thirty years, and died at the 
ripe age of ninety-five. A slab near the pit has the 
following inscription : 

Hie Honorius 

vitam finivit; 

Et ideo cum Deo. 

in coelis reciv1t 

Obit 1596. 

Here Honorius ended his life; 

And he found it in God. 

Died in 1596. 

Byron and his commentators stvle the monk St. 
Honorius. He has no right to be styled a Saint, for 
he was not only not canonised but not even beatified: 
nor is his name found among the venerables. But his 
manner of life has rendered him more famous than 
manv a saint. 


And here and there, as up the crags you spring, 
Mark manv rude-carved crosses near the path: 
Yet deem not these Devotion's offering — ■ 
These are memorials frail of murderous wrath: 
For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath 
Pour'd forth his blood beneath the assassin's knife, 
Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath, (A)L 
And grove and glen v\'ith thousand such are rife 
Throughout this purple land, where Law secures not life. 

(A.) It is a well known fact that in the year 1809 

the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vici- 


34 childe harold's pilgrimage. 

nitv were not confined by the Portuguese to their coun- 
trymen; but Englishmen were daily butchered, and so 
far from the survivors obtaining redress, they were 
requested «not to interfere » if they perceived their 
compatriot defending himself against his amiable allies. 
I was once stopped in the way to the theatre, at eight 
in the evening, when the streets were not more empty 
than they generally are, opposite to an open shop, and 
in a carriage with a friend, by three of our allies; and 
had we not fortunately been armed I have not the least 
doubt we should have «adorned a tale» instead of telling 
one. The crime of assassination is not confined to 
Portugal: in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the 
head at a handsome average nightly and not a Sicilian 
or Maltese is ever punished! — B. N. 

I. Some hands erect a cross of mouldering lath. 
(Daily assassinations and assaults). The Note in the 
MS. was much longer. After saying, «I have not the 
least doubt we should have 'adorned a tale* instead of 
telling one», it continued: 

[We have heard wonders of the Portuguese lately, 
and their gallantry — pray heaven it continue; yet 
«would it were bedtime, Hal, and all were well». 
They must fight a great many hours by the ((Shrewsbury 
clock» before the number of their slain equals that of 
our countrymen butchered by these kind creatures, 
now metamorphosed into «Cacadores» and what not. 
I merely state a fact not confined to Portugal, for in 
Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a hand- 
some average nightly, and not a Sicilian and Maltese 
is ever punished! The neglect of protection is disgrace- 
ful to our government and governors, for the murders 


are as notorious as the moon that shines upon them. 
The Portuguese, it is to be hoped, are complimented 
with the «Forlorn Hope- — if the cowards are to become 
brave (like the rest of their kind, in a corner) pray let 
them display it. But there is a subscription for these 
@oao-jcb/:v (they need not be ashamed of the epithet 
once applied to the Spartans) and all the charitable 
patronymics, from ostentatious A. to diffident Z., and 
£ i-i-o from «an admirer of valour » are in requisition 
for the lists of Lloyd's and the honour of British bene- 
volence. Well, we have fought and subscribed, and 
bestowed peerages, and buried the killed by our friends 
and foes, and lo! all this is to be done over again! 
Like Lien Chi (in Goldsmith's Citizen of the World) 
as we «grow older we grow never the better». It would 
be pleasant to learn who will subscribe for us, in or 
about the year i8i5, and what nation will send fifty 
thousand men, first to be decimated in the capital, and 
then decimated again (in the Irish fashion, nine out of 
ten) in the «bed of honour» which as Serjeant Kite says, 
is considerably larger and more commodious than the 
«bed ofWare». Then they must have a poet to write 
the ((Vision of Don Perceval » and generously bestow the 
profits of the well and widelv printed quarto to rebuild 
the ((Bachwynd» and the « Canon-gate », or furnish new 
kilts for the half-roasted Highlanders. Lord Welling- 
ton, however, has enacted marvels, and so did his oriental 
brother, whom I saw chareteering over the French flag, 
and heard chipping bad Spanish, and listening to the 
speech of a patriotic cobbler of Cadiz, on the event of 
his own entrv into that city, and the exit of some five 
thousand bold Britons out of this «best of all possible 
worlds». Sorely were we puzzled how to dispose of 

36 childe harold's pilgrimage. 

that same victory ofTalavera; and a victory it surely 
was somewhere, for everybody claimed it. The Spanish 
dispatch and mob called it Cuestas and made no great 
mention of the Viscount*, the French called it theirs 
(to my great discomfiture, for a French consul stopped 
my mouth in Greece with a pestilent Paris Gazette, 
just as I had killed Sebastiani «in buckram» and King 
Joseph in «Kendal green») — and we have not yet deter- 
mined what to call it, or whose for certes it is none of 
our own. Howbeit, Massena's retreat is a great com- 
fort, and as yet we have not been in the habit of pur- 
suing for some years past, no wonder we are a little 
awkward at first. No doubt we shall improve, or if 
we do not, we have only to take to our old way of 
retrograding, and there we are at home.] 

Dallas objected to the whole Note as a «w T ild tirade» 
and Byron agreed to omit its larger portion. Once 
again in 1812 the noble lord shows in the suppressed 
portion his bitter animosity against the Portuguese. 
He calls them cowards and 0pao-j^£i/dv or those who 
affect the hero and play the poltroon; he is sarcastic 
against his own countrymen for raising a public sub- 
scription (which amounted to £ 81,079) in tneir favour, 
and ridicules Walter Scott (who was not yet his friend) 
for praising them in his Vision of Don Roderick, and 
for giving, very generously, all the profits of its sale to 
the cause of Portuguese patriotism. 

Byron refers in the text to crosses of mouldering 
lath as a proof of the frequency of assassinations in 
Portugal. This is an instance of how foreigners mis- 
judge their neighbours. These crosses, some of which 
still exist, had nothing to do with assassinations; they 


were planted there, by the roadside, to appeal to the 
wayfarers' feelings of piety. The mistake was pointed 
out in the Invest igador Portugues, a monthly periodical 
published in London, six weeks after the publication 
of CJu'lde Harold, but it did not attract the attention 
of commentators till July 9, 1878, when a letter on the 
same subject appeared in the Athenaeum. This shows 
how anything written in Portuguese is almost a dead 
letter to foreigners. The smouldering lath» is a glaring 
instance of how writers, even of the eminence of Emi- 
lio Gasteliar, accept as facts what Byron said of the 
horrible homicides 1 , although he, and others like him, 
are careful to point out how the poet was unjust in some 
of his remarks against their own people. There was 
a reason for the existence of these crosses at Cintra. 
The founder of the Convent of Santa Cruz had laid 
down in his will that it was his particular wish that 
the Cross should receive special adoration. 

In the first portion of the published Note, Byron says 
that in 1809 there were daily assassinations of English- 
men in the streets of Lisbon. Now, what are the facts ? 
Let English writers themselves answer the question. 
Mr. Oman, the latest historian of the Peninsular War, 
says that in February 1809 ((isolated British soldiers 
were assaulted, some were wounded, and parties of 
4egionaires' (Portuguese ) actually stopped aides-de-camp 
and orderlies carrying despatches, and stripped them 
of the documents they were bearing. The mob was 
inclined, indeed, to be ill disposed towards their allies, 

1 Castelar (Emi'lio): A Vida de Lord Byron, traduzida por 
M. Fernandes Reis. Porto, 1876, pg. ?ij. 

38 childe harold's pilgrimage. 

from the suspicion that they were intending to evacuate 
Lisbon and to retire from the Peninsula. They had 
seen the baggage and non-combatants left behind by 
.Moore put on ship-board; early in February they beheld 
the troops told off for the occupation of Cadiz embark 
and disappear. When they also noticed that the forts 
at the Tagus mouth were being dismantled they made 
up their minds that the British were about to desert 
them, without making any attempt to defend Portugal. 
Hence came the malevolent spirit they displayed. It 
died down when their suspicions were proved unfounded 
by the arrival of Beresford and other British officers 
at the beginning of March)) 1 . It will be remarked that 
the writer attributes the malevolence to the actions, 
right or wrong, of the British officers themselves. 
Southey makes on the subject the following remarks: 
((Preparations had been made for evacuating that ca- 
pital (Lisbon); transports were collected in the Tagus, 
and notice officially given to the British merchants to 
hold themselves in readiness for immediate embar- 
kation in case the enemy should advance towards 
them». And he adds further on: «One day the cavalry 
was embarked, the next it was relanded. The sea 
batteries were dismantled, and their guns shipped for 
Brazil; those at Fort Julian alone were left mounted, 
as a defensive post if the British troops should be forced 
to embark precipitately. The women belonging to the 
army were sent on board. These preparations exas- 
perated the people. The feeling which this intended 
abandonment produced was rather anger than fear; 

i Oman (Charles): A History of the Peninsular War. Vol. iv. 

(Published up to date). Oxford, 1892-191 1. vol. n., pg. 200. 


and they resented it the more as if they felt ashamed 
for allies long trusted an J always found worthy, than 
alarmed for the consequences to themselves-' 1 . And 
Napier also described the same facts and does not 
notice the murder of a single Englishman 2 . In fact 
there is not one English writer who mentions a single 
murder of an Englishman in the streets of Lisbon in 
1809. On the contrary there is a Police Report, dated 
March 4, of the murder of a Spaniard by three English- 
men, due to a quarrel regarding some women of loose 
character 3 . All this shows how Byron was completely 
mistaken about the « daily assassinations)) of English- 
men in the streets of Lisbon, in 1809. One of his 
biographers goes a step further and says that some 
of these assassinations were due to religious causes! 
How such an idea entered his head it is not easy to say. 
Only to show how tittle Byron knew of the behaviour 
of some of his own countrvmen in Portugal and of the 
behaviour of the Portuguese towards them, I will quote 
here the opinion not of any Portuguese writer but of 
Wellington himself. In a long official dispatch address- 
ed to the Adjutant General of the Forces, dated 6 th 
April, 18 10, after noticing how frequent were the deser- 
tions among his men, he says that they are due «in a 

1 Southey (R.): History of the Peninsular War. Op. cit., 
vol. 11., Part I., pp. 2 1 5 and 217. 

2 Napier (Sir W. F. P.): History of the War in the Peninsula 
and in the South of France. 6 vol. London, s. d. Book VI , ch. in.. 

PS- "• 

3 Intendencia geral da Policia. Contas para a Secretaria. 

Desde 2g de Outubro de 1808 ate 3 de Dejembro de i8og, in the 

National Archives (Torre do Tombo). Liv. x., pp. 82, 87, and 
1 10 v, dated March 4 and i3, and April 5. 


great measure to the bad description of men of which 
many of the regiments are composed almost entirely, 
and who have been received from the Irish militia... 
and likewise in some degree to the predatory habits 
they have acquired, who, having straggled from their 
regiments during the late service under the command 
of Sir John Moore, were some of them taken prisoners 
by the French, and have since escaped from them; 
and others after having wandered in different parts of 
Portugal and Spain, have returned to the army. All 
these men have shifted for themselves in the country, 
by rapine and plunder, since they quitted their regiments 
in 1808; and they have informed others of their mode 
of proceeding, and have instilled a desire in others to 
follow their example, and live in the same mode and 
by the same means, free from the restraints of discipline 
and regularity. It is proper that I should inform the 
Commander in Chief that desertion is not the only crime 
of which the soldiers of this army have been guilty to 
an extraordinary degree. A detachment seldom. mar- 
ches, particularly if under the command of a non-com- 
missioned officer (which rarely happens) that a murder 
or a highway robbery, or some act of outrage is not 
committed by the British soldiers composing it. Thev 
have killed eight people since the army returned to 
Portugal in December; and I am sorry to add that a 
convoy has seldom arrived with money that the chests 
have not been broken open, and some of the money 
stolen by the soldiers in whose charge it was placed, 
although invariably under the command of an officer». 
And after stating the measures taken to prevent these 
crimes he continues, «The inhabitants of the country 
have such a respect and affection for the British nation, 


and particularly for the military qualities of the soldier 

(who presumes upon his military reputation to commit 
many of the crimes oi which he is guilt) I, that it is 
most difficult to prevail upon the inhabitants to give 
testimony of the injuries they have received, and they 
will rarely point out the person who has committed the 
offence; and the soldiers themselves will rarely tell the 
truth before a Court Martial)) 1 . In justice to the British 
forces of those days it is necessary to make it quite plain 
that the crimes referred to were not committed by the 
regular troops; and it has to be added, to the honour < 1 
Wellington, that he did his utmost to control his men. 
From all that has been stated it is not to be supposed 
that no British soldier was killed in Lisbon or in Por- 
tugal. There Ave re such murders. But the reader can 
imagine who was likely to be primarily responsible in 
such cases. Excluding retaliation or self-defence a Por- 
tuguese had nothing to gain by killing a Britisher, but 
a Britisher could look forward to, in the words of 
Wellington, «rapine and plunder^. 

As regards the intended assault referred to in the 
second portion of the Note, which Byron describes 
with so much gusto and not without considerable swag- 
ger, it must be observed that in Jul}' 1S09, when he 
came to Lisbon, there was absolutely no prejudice 
against an Englishman as an Englishman. All suspi- 
cions had died out in March. In April Lord Wellesley 
had been received with open arms, in fact with public 
rejoicings. Then why the intended assault? Byron 

1 V^elling ton's Dispatches. New Edition. 12 vol. London, i83y. 
I have quoted only the dates of his Dispatches. 


d< es not give any reason. He only allows it to be 

supposed because he was an Englishman. 

But there was unfortunately another assault which 
the young lord had to submit to owing to a heedless 
love affair. One night, while leaving the theatre of 
San Carlos, he was roughly handled by an aggrieved 
husband for flirtation with his wife. This fact is attest- 
ed by several writers. In his Moral Studies written 
in 1^44, Alexandre Herculano, the eminent historian. 
says, that Byron, who imagined that the Portuguese 
were so ignorant that he could do with them as he 
liked, received some severe cachacoes or blows when 
leaving the theatre 1 . And in a cancdo or song ad- 
dressed to Bvron, Joao de Lemos, a well-known poet, 
records the same incident thus: 

A nossa ignordncia achaste tao rude 
Por serios maridos a char ainda aqui, 
Que, quando buscavas man char a virtude, 
Nas costas as manchas te punham a ti^. 

You found ignorant and rude all of us, 

For finding here husbands very serious. 

Who, when you wished to stain their wives' honour. 

Stained vour body with something to remember. 

Byron's temperament was such as would not stand 
any rebuke, and much less humiliation of this kind. 
In his Preface to English TSards and Scotch Reviewers, 
published only a few months before he came to Portu- 
gal, lie says that he is always determined to take revenge 

1 Herculano (Alexandre): Estudos Morais. II. «0 Parocho de 
Aldeia», in O Panorama. Lisboa, 1844, pg. 1 19. 

3 Lemos (Joao de) : Cancioneiro. 2 vol. Lisboa iS5o, vol. 11., 
pg. 242. 


((though his own hand suffer in the encounter®. Tin's 
accounts for his rage and rancour against the Portu- 
guese. The Portuguese woman was really a sore point 
with him. Everywhere else, women, of no matter what 
nationality, were always uppermost in his mind. In Por- 
tugal he does not make the faintest allusion to them, 
although one of his own countrymen had described 
them as ^infinitely the finest that Man can imagine)) 1 . 
In this respect his experiences in Spain, as will be 
noticed further on, were quite different. 

Lord Byron's rage against the Portuguese was so 
great that he kept his eyes wide open to see whatever 
might be said against them. In his Curse of Minerva 
written on March i3, 1811, but published only after 
his death, he says: 

«But Lusitania kind and dear ally 

Can spare a few to fight and sometimes fly». 

«Sometimes fly» is an allusion to the Portuguese 
troops who took part in the battle of the Gebora in Spain. 
In his description of the Spanish disaster there, Mr. 
Oman says: ((The battle of the Gebora was lost almost 
before a shot had been tired, for on seejng themselves 
threatened in flank and about to be charged by Latour- 
-Mauburg, the Spanish and the Portuguese horse broke 
in the most disgraceful style... The cavalry oi the 
Army of (the Spanish) Estremadnra had a bad reputa- 
tion — they were the old squadrons of Medallis and 

i Vid. Rhys (Udal ab) : An account of the most remarkable 
places and curiosities in Spain and Portugal. London, 1749, 
pg. 219. There are several other foreigners who describe the Por- 
tuguese women in a similar strain. 


Arzobispo, of which Wellington preserved such an e\ il 

memory, and Madden 's Portuguese this day behaved 
no better>»'. Now let us see what was Wellington's 
opinion of the Portuguese troops. In his dispatch, 
dated 2o ,h May, 1809, he says: al know of no troops 
that could have behaved better than the Lusitanian 
Legion did at Alcantara the other day». From these 
antecedents the reader can imagine whose behaviour 
was Likely t () be disgraceful. It has to be remembered 
that the Spanish force on this occasion consisted of 
2,000 cavalry, and4,5oo infantry supported by 000 Por- 
tuguese horse; and the French of 2,5oo cavalry, 4,5op 
infantry, and 12 guns. These figures clearly show that 
the Portuguese could not be expected to face the enemy 
when left alone in the field. 


O.i sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, 
Are domes where whilofne kings did make repair; 
But now the wild flowers round them only breathe; 
Yet mine J. Splendour 1 - still is lingering there, 
And yonder towers the Prince's palace"- fair: 
There thou, too, Vathek! England's wealthiest son, 
Once form'd thv Paradise UL , as not aware 
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done, 
Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun. 

I. Domes where whilome kings did repair. . . ruined 
Splendour. This is a pure poetical phantasy. Besides 
the ('Prince's Palace » there were no other royal domes 
in former days on the sloping mounds or in the vale 

1 Oman (Charles): Op. c/7.,vol. iv , pg 56. The italics are mine. 


beneath. But such fancies do no harm. It is curious, 
however, that Byron's admirable description of (antra 
makes no reference to the old and justly famous Moorish 
Castle. In stanza XIX. it would have been much more 
appropriate to allude to «the toppling Castle» instead of 
to the «toppling Convent)). The Castle dates from the 
time of the Moors, and is one of the two oldest monu- 
ments of Cintra. 

The only ruins which could be styled « ruined Splen- 
dour)) were those of the Moorish Castle. Beckford 
makes a reference to its ((mouldering walls)) 1 and says 
that he found there many curious plants. A commen- 
tator has suggested that Byron might have seen what 
Beckford had said on the subject. This could not be 
the case, for Beckford came to Portugal in 1787, and 
his letters referring to this country were published only 
in 1834. His Dreams, Waking Thoughts and Incidents, 
in a Series of Letters from various parts of Europe, 
published in 1783 and soon withdrawn from circulation, 
could not possiblv contain his letters on Portugal. A 
full description of these ruins, with an engraving, had 
been given by Murphy 2 in 1796. In the fifties of the 
last century Don Fernando repaired the Castle to a 
great extent, and its appearance now is quite different 
from what it w 7 as in the days of Byron. 

II. And fonder towers the Prince s palace fair. 
This palace has been identified by a recent English 
annotator with the « Castle of Pena»: and, as such a 

1 Italy with Sketches of Spain and Portugal, by the author 
of Vathek. 2 vol. London, 1884, vol. 11., pg. 180. 

2 Murphy (James): Travels in Portugal, London, 179-S pg. 245. 

46 childe Harold's pilgrimage. 

mistake is likely to become perpetuated it is necessary 
to point out that the Castle or Palace of Pena came 
into existence only after 1839, when the ruins of the 
old Convent of Pena with its enclosure was bought by 
Don Fernando, the King-Consort of Dona Maria II. 
The Palace referred to by Byron is the National Palace 
of Cintra, situated lower down. He styles it the ((Prin- 
ce's palace» probably because the head of the kingdom 
in his day was the Prince-Regent. This Palace with 
its two enormous and very « towering » conical-shaped 
chimneys belonged originally to the Moors. It owes its 
present appearance chiefly to King John I. and his wife 
Queen Philippa, and to Manuel I. It is a building 
with great historical associations. Queen Maria Pia 
was its last royal resident. The Count of Sabugosa has 
devoted a large volume to it, which contains sketches by 
Queen Amelia 1 . Byron dismisses it in one single line. 
Another commentator has suggested that the «yon- 
der» fair palace might also mean the Palace of Mafra. 
This cannot be, for Mafra is described further on, and 
the building there was always known as the Convent of 
Mafra. There can be no doubt, that the «yonder palace 
fair» is the National Palace of Cintra. 

III. Vathekl England's wealthiest son, once form d 
thy Paradise. William Beckford the author of Vathek 
is one of those Englishmen whose name is intimately 
connected with Cintra. He is styled by Byron «the 
wealthiest son of England)), for he inherited when only 
eleven years of age a million in ready money, and an 
income of a hundred thousand pounds a year. He was 

1 Sabugosa (Gonde de): O Pago de Cintra. Lisboa, 1903. 



no doubt the wealthiest English commoner of his day. 
He paid three visits. to Portugal: the firsl in 1787 for 
eight months; the second in 1788 for a short time; and 
the third from May 1794 to the commencement of 1796, 
with an absence of a few months in Spain. His f r athek, 
written originally in French and published at Lausanne 
in 1787 has always been considered one of the best 
stories of its kind. Lord Byron, in a foot-note to his 
Giaour says: «For the contents of some of (my) notes, 
I am indebted partly to D'Herbelot and partly to that 
most Eastern, and, as Mr. Weber justly entitles it, 
((sublime tale», the Caliph Vathek. I do not know from 
what source the author of that singular volume may 
have drawn his materials, some of the incidents are to 
be found in the Bibliotheque Orient ale; but for correct- 
ness of costume, beauty of description, and power of 
imagination, it surpasses all European imitations, and 
bears such marks of originality, that those who have 
visited the East will find some difficulty in believing it 
to be more than a translation. As an Eastern tale, 
even Rasselas must bow before it; his «Happv Yallev» 
will not bear a comparison with the «Hall of Ellis » . 
And in a note to The Siege of Corinth Byron again 
refers to Vathek, as a work which «I never recur t<>, 
or read, without a renewal of gratification)). This was 
the opinion of Byron as regards Vathek. Beckford's 
opinion of Byron was that he «is a splendid bouquet 
of intellectual voluptuousness — a genius — a great ge- 
nius — but an irregular one, his poetic flight is like that 
of a fire-Hy, alternate flashes of light and dark" 1 . In a 

1 Melville (Lewis): The Life and Letters of William Beckford 
of Fonthill. London, 1910, pg. 147. 


letter to Samuel Rogers (Venice, March 3, 1818) Byron 
expressed a wish to see the Tales or Episodes in manu- 
script written by Beckford in continuation of Vathek, 
and also their author in case he went to England. 
The manuscript was not lent, and Beckford signified 
that he did not wish to see Byron. It may be men- 
tioned in passing that these Episodes have recently 
been translated into English by Sir Frank T. Maziols. 

The best editions of Vathek in French are by 
Mallerme, and in English by Garnett 1 , both of which 
contain excellent introductions. Regarding Portugal 
Beckford wrote his admirable Letters or Sketches, 
which have been mentioned before, and another w r ork 
on Alcobaca and Batalha 2 . Cintra owes some of its 
renown among Englishmen to Beckford, who styles it 
the «Garden of the Hesperides», and a « Heaven upon 
Earth ». 

The «Paradise of Yathek» known as the Quinta de 
Monserrate, takes its name from a chapel built there 
in 1540 and dedicated to Our Lady of Monserrate. 
The property in which the chapel stood was leased to 
Gerard Devisme, a wealthy English merchant in Lisbon, 
who built there a mansion in the style of an old castle 
with terraces and battlements, a fair sketch of which 
may be seen in the Archivo Pittoresco- . When Devis- 

1 Vathek: reimprime sur l'original francais. Avec la Preface 
de Stephane Mallerme, Paris, 1893. — Ibid. Edited by Dr. R. Garnett, 
London, 1893. 

2 Recollections of an Excursion to Alcobaca and Batalha. 
London, i835. 

3 Archivo Pittoresco. Lisboa, 1864, vol. vn., pg. 245. 


me left Lisbon, he let his house to William Beckford 
who resided there during his third visit and gave magni- 
ficent entertainments. It was probably during his stay 
there that he wrote his Modern Novel Writing or Ele- 
gant Enthusiast, and Anemia: a Descriptive and Senti- 
mental Novel, two satirical works published under the 
pseudonyms of Lady Harriet Marlow and of J. S. M. 
Jenks, in 1796 and 1797, respectively. Reiving no doubt 
upon Byron's description, several writers have asserted 
that Beckford built his own Paradise at Gintra. This 
is a mistake. 

The last two lines commencing with «When wanton 
Wealth» stood in the MS. thus: 

[When Wealth and Taste their worst and best have done, 
Meek Peace pollution's lure voluptuous still must shun.] 


Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan. 
Beneath von mountain's beauteous brow; 
But now, as if a thing unblest bv Man, 
Thv fairy dwelling is as lone as Thou 1 -! 
Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow 
To Halls deserted, portals gaping wide; 
Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how 
Vain are the pleasaunce; on earth supplied; 
Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide! 

I. But now, as if a thing unblest by Man, thy fair y 
dwelling is as lone as Thou. In the MS. the fourth 
line in this stanza stood as follows: 

[But now thou Beacon unto man,] 


And there was another stanza, also referring to 
Beckford, which stood thus: 

Unhappy Drresl En an evil hour 
'Gainst Nature's voice seduced to deed's accurst! 
Once Fortune's minion now thou feel'st her power, 
Wraths' vial on thy lofty head hath hurst, 
In Wit, in Genius, as in Wealth the first, 
I low wondrous bright thou blooming morn arose! 
But thou wert smitten with th' unhallowed thirst 
Of Crime unnamed, and thy sad noon must close 
In scorn and solitude unsought the worst of woes . 

This stanza, which had been suppressed at the 
suggestion of Dallas, was published in 1 83*3 among 
"Occasional Pieces» under the heading of To Dives. 
A Fragment. Regarding this stanza, Byron, in a letter 
(September 26, 181 1) to Dallas, says: <J should be 
sorry to make any improper allusion (to Beckford); as 
I only wish to adduce an example of wasted wealth 
and the reflexion which arose in surveying the most 
dismal mansion in the most beautiful spot I ever beheld». 
It is a pity that the poet was not as careful m making 
improper allusions to other people. The « deeds accurst» 
attributed to Beckford had no foundation whatsoever. 
Byron compares the « fairy dwelling)) of Beckford with 
his subsequent lonely and secluded life at Fonthill 
Abbey. In 1809 the mansion which was not solid- 
Iv constructed had fallen into ruins. The property 
was later on bought by Sir Francis Cook, who built 
there a mansion in the Moorish stvle and laid out an 
excellent park. It is now in the possession of his son 
Sir Frederick Lucas Cook, the second Viscount of 


After leaving Portugal in E796 Beckford went back 
to England and built his great Gothic Abbey at Fonthill, 
and later on his Tower on the top of the Lansdowne 
Hill at Bath, which after his death was converted into 
the chapel of a cemetery. He died at Bath in straitened 
circumstances in 1844. 

St. XXIII: — 1. 8, «Pleasaunces». Archaic \plaisance 
in French. 


Behold the hall (A) L where chiefs were late convene.: ! 
Oh! dome displeasing unto British eve! 
With diadem hight Foolscap, lo! a FiQnd, 
A little Fiend that scoffs incessantly. 
There sits in parchment robe arraved, and by 
His side is hune a seal and sable scroll, 
Where blazoned glare names known to chivalry 11. 
And sundry signatures adorn the roll, 
Whereat the Urchin points and laughs with all his soul. 

(A.) The Convention 1 of Cintra 2 was signed in the 
palace of the Marchese Marialva. — B. N. 

I. Behold the hall. The «dome» of the Marquis of 
Marialva, known as Quinta de Seteais, or the Mansion 
of Seven echos, is situated at a distance of nearly one 
and a half kilometres from the National Palace of Cintra. 
It was built by Guildermeester, a rich Dutch Consul', 
who sold it to the fifth Marquis of Marialva, a grand 
seigneur, famous for his great magnificence and libera- 

1 Vid. St. XXV., N. 1. 

2 Vid. St. XXVI, N. 1. — Byron says Marchese Marialva; in 
Portuguese it is Marques de Marialva. 

52 childk harold's pilgrimage. 

litv. It consists of two one-storeyed wings, joined bv 
an archway which contains the busts of John VI., and 
Carlota Joaquina. Byron believed that the ((Convention 
of Cintra» was signed in one of the halls of this build- 
ing. It will be seen further on that this was not the 

II. Where blazoned glare names known to chivalry. 

The original reading of this and the next two lines 
was : 

[Where blazoned glare a name spelt Wellesley, 

And sundry signatures adorn the roll, 

Whereat the Urchin points and laughs with all his soul.] 

Then came the following four stanzas, nos. XXV. to 
XXVIII., which were suppressed at the suggestion of 

[in golden characters right well desigh'd 
First on the list appeareth one «Junot», 
Then certain other glorious names we find^ 
(Which rhyme competleth me to place below) 
Dull victors! baffled bv a vanquished foe, 
Wheedled bv cunning tongues of laurels due, 
Stand worthy of each other, —in a row — 
Sirs Arthur, Harry, and the diz/ard Hew 
Dalrymple, seely wight, sore dupe of t'other tew. 

Convention is the dwarfy demon styled 

That foil'd the knights in Marialva's dome. 
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled, 
And turned a nation's shallow joy to gloom. 
For well 1 wot when first the news did come 
That Vimiera's field bv Gaul was lost, 
For paragraph no paper had room, 
Such Paeans teemed for our triumphant host. 
In Courier, Chronicle, and in Morning Post. 

notes and Comments. 53 

But when Convention sent his handy work. 
Pens, tongue% feet, hands, combined in wild uproar, 
Mayor, Alderman, laid down th' uplifted fork: 
The Bench of Bishops half forgot to snore 
Stern Cobbet, who for one whole week forbore 
To question aught, once more with transport leap't, 
And bit his devilish quill agen, and swore 
With foe such treaty never should be kept. 
Then burst the blatant (aJ beast, and roared and raged, and slept! 

Thus unto heaven appealed the people; heaven 
Which loves the lieges of our gracious King, 
Decreed that ere our generals were forgiven, 
Inquiry should be'held about the thing. 
But merely cloaked the babes beneath their wing; 
And as thev spaied our fo~s so spared we them, 
Where was the pity of our sires for Bvng (b) 
Yet knaves, nor idiots should the law condemn. 
Then triumph, gallant, knights! and bless your judges' phlegm.] 

The reason given by Dallas for the suppression of 
these stanzas was that ((politically speaking, indeed, in 
every sense, great deeds should be allowed to efface 
slight errors)) 1 . The names known to chivalry are 
those of Sir Arthur Wellesley, Sir Harry Burrard, and 
Sir Hugh Dalrymple. 

Ca) [Blatant beast — a figure for the mob, I think first used by 
Smollett in his Adventures of an Atom. Horace has the «bellua 
multorum capitums; in England, fortunately enough, the mobility 
have not even one. — B. N.]. 

(b) [Bv this query it is not meant that our foolish generals 
should have been shot, but that Byng might have been spared, 
though the one suffered, and the others escaped, probably for 
Gandide's reason, «pour encourager les autres». — B. N.J. 

' Dallas (R. G): Op. cit., pg. 174. 

?4 CHiLDi-: Harold's pilgrimage. 


Convention is the dwarfish demon 1 styled 
That foiled the knights in Marialva's dome: 
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled, 
A id turn'd a nation's shallow joy to gloom. 
Here Folly dashed to earth the victor's plume, 
And Policy regained what arms had lost: 
For chiefs like oars in vain may laurels bloom! 
Woe to the conquering, not the conquer'd host, 
Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast] 

I. Convention is the dwarfish demon. The Conven- 
tion signed on August 3o, 1S0S, after the battle ofVi- 
meiro, created a great deal of discontent both in England 
and Portugal- Bvron devotes to it three stanzas. In 
England the discontent was due to the fact that the 
French after being defeated were allowed to leave the 
country without molestation. In Portugal it was con- 
demncd because all the arrears of contributions due 
to Portuguese subject were cancelled; all subjects of 
France and those Portuguese who had sympathised 
with them were to be protected; and all Frenchmen 
were to be allowed to remove their property without 
molestation! And no compensation was made, absolu- 
tely \v>nit, in return for these concessions. Dalrymple 
had siiined the document without consulting the Portu- 
guese Junta. He had accepted responsibilities which 
he could not carry out. The Junta sent a strong protest 
against this arrangement to the English Government. 
All the three generals connected with the Convention, 
Dalrymple, Hew, and Welleslej had to submit to a 
court of inquiry in England. All were acquitted, but 
only Wellesley was sent back in iKoq, and the others 


' were passed over. Those interested in this subject 
will find much useful information in the work of Mr. 
Oman, to which reference has been made before. 

The French, as may well be imagined, were elated 
with their diplomatic success. The Duchess of Abran- 
tes, wife of Junot, for instance, says: «The beautiful 
verses of Lord Byron are quite sufficient for the glory 
of Junot, when the original of this Convention will not be 
there to prove it* 1 . 


And ever since that martial Synod met, 
Britannia sickens, Cintra, at thv name 1 ; 
And folks in office at the mention fret, 
And fain would blush, if blush they could, for shame. 
How will Posterity the deed proclaim! 
Will not our own and fellow-nations sneer. 
To view these champions cheated of their fame, 
B: fo^s in fight overthrown, yet victors here, 
Where Scorn her finger points through many a coming year? 

I. Britannia sickens, Cintra! at thy name. Byron 
is here again mistaken. The Convention was not signed 
at Cintra but at Torres Vedras, and ratified at Lisbon. 
Whv it was styled the ((Convention of Cintra» has not 
vet been satisfactorily explained. It was probably so 
termed because Dalrvmple, after having signed the 
Convention at Torres Vedras on the i st September 1808, 
shifted his head-quarters on the 2 nd to Cintra, and it is 
from Cintra that «his dispatches giving an account of 

1 Abrantes (Duchesse de): Memoircs, 10 vols., Paris, s. d., 
vol. V , pg. 467. 

56 childe hakold's pilgrimage 

his recent transactions!) were dated and sent 1 . It is 
curious that it is styled the a Convention of Cintra» by 
the Hoard of Inquiry, who commenced their sittings on 
November 14 and submitted their Report at the close 
of December. Anyhow, Britannia has no reason to 
sicken at the name of Cintra. 


So deem'd the Childe, as o'er the mountains he 
Did take his way in solitary guise: 
Sweet was the scene, yet soon he thought to flee. 
More restless than the swallow in the skies: 
Though here awhile he learned to moralize, 
For Meditation fix'd at times on him; 
And conscious Reason whisper'd to despise 
His early youth misspent in maddest whim; 
But as he gazed on truth 1 -, his aching eves t>rew dim. 

I. Ga\ed on truth. In his Preface to Childe Harold 
Byron expressly wished that Childe Harold should not 
be confounded with himself. There is no doubt that 
Byron now and then <<gazed on truths, and wanted to 
reform himself. Before leaving England he had broken 
up his harems and reduced his food to very simple fare; 
when at Constantinople he had made another serious 
attempt to change his life; and once more when he had 
gone back to England. But it was of no use. His 
passions were too strong for him. After leaving Eng- 
land for good he led a life of great dissipation. 

1 Dalrymple (General Sir Hew): Memoir written by.,. Lon- 
don. 1 33o, pg. 7 1 . 


On reading Childe Harold with the Poet's notes 
one would imagine that Byron was in danger of being 
assaulted or assassinated everywhere in Lisbon, even 
when he was driving in a carriage with a friend; and 
that he was often engaged in deep and serious medita- 
tion. His letter to Hodgson, written just on the eve 
of his departure from Lisbon — to be quoted further 
on — convevs quite a different idea: there he says he 
enjoved his visit and was «very happy». Before he 
became a celebritv in 1812, he was reckless as to what 
he did or said*, his whole aim was to shine, to make 
an impression upon the public. Had he known the 
great aura of fame that was awaiting him, he would 
very probablv have taken more care with some portions 
of his Childe Harold and with some of his letters. 
He did not always write in his poems what he wrote 
in his private letters. In his « Adieu to England" 
(st. VI.), for instance, he makes his valet Bob disclaim 
timidity, whereas in his letters he says the valet was the 
reverse of valiant. 


To horse! to horse 1 -! he quits, for ever quits 
A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul: 
Again he rouses from his moping fits. 
But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl. 
Onward he flies, nor fixed as yet the goal 
Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage; 
And o'er him manv changing scenes must roll, 
Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage, 
Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience sage. 

I. To horse! to horse! Bvron left Lisbon on the 17 th 
July, and rode on horseback to Badajoz and Seville at 

58 Harold's pilgrimage. 

the rate of one hundred and thirty kilometres | 70 miles) 
a day. He commenced his journey at Aldea Galega 
on the southern side Of the Tagus and followed the 
road to Elvas. There is no doubt he enjoyed his ride 
great! v. He had sent his heavy baggage and two of 
his servants by sea to Gibraltar. 


Yet Mafra (AJ l shall one moment claim delay. 
Where dwelt of yore the Lusians 1 luckless queen 11 ; 
And Church and Court did mingle their array. 
And Mass and revel were alternate seen; 
Lordlings and freres 111 — ill-sorted fry, I ween! 
But here the Babylonian whore w * had built 
A dome, where flaunts she in such glorious sheen, 
That men forget the blood which she hath spilt, 
And how the knee to Pomp that loves to garnish guilt. 

A.) The extent of Mafra is prodigious*, it contains 
a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six 
organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld, in point 
of decoration: we did not hear them, but were told that 
their tones were correspondent to their splendour, Mafra 
is termed the Kscurial of Portugal 1 . — 13. N. 

1. Mafra. The monastery of Mafra is one of the 
most important public monuments of Portugal, and is 
situated at a distance of fifteen kilometres to the north- 
west of Cintra. It owes its origin to a vow made by 
John V. in 171 1 that lie would build a friary for thirteen 
monks if he should be blessed with a successor to the 

1 Vid Part III . 6 vi. for further remarks by Byron on Mafra. 


throne. His prayers for an heir being granted he decid- 
ed to improve his original vow by building a monastery 
for three hundred monks. The foundations were laid 
in 1717 and the enormous pile consisting of a sumptuous 
church, two palatial residences, and a monastery was 
completed in thirteen years at a cost of two million 
pounds sterling. The church was really superb. «Its 
first coup-d'eeih), says Beckford, «is very imposing. 
The high altar, adorned with two majestic columns of 
reddish variegated marble, each, a single block, above 
thirty feet in height, immediately fixes the eye. Trevi- 
siani has painted the altar-piece in a masterly manner^. 
The collateral chapels, each enriched with highly finish- 
ed bassi-relievi and stately portals of black and yellow 
marble, richly veined, and so highly polished as to 
reflect objects like a mirror. Never did I behold such 
marble as gleamed above, below, and around us. The 
pavement, the vaulted ceilings, the dome, and even the 
topmost lantern, is encrusted with the same costly and 
durable materials. Roses of white marble and wreaths 
of palm-branches, most exquisitely sculptured, enrich 
every part of the edifice. I never saw Corinthian ca- 
pitals better modeled, or executed with more precision 
and sharpness, than those of the columns that support 
the nave 1 . 

II. JJliere dwelt of yore the Lusians luckless queen. 
In the MS. this line stood as follows: 

[Where dwelt of yore the Lusian's crazy queen.] 

1 Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal, Op. cit., vol. 11.. 
pg. 1 3 1 . Good illustrations of the Monastery of Mafra may be seen 
in A Arte e a Nature^a em Portugal. Oporto, ioo^, vol. vi. 

Co chiide harold's pilgrimage. 

And there was the following Note: 

[Her luckless Majesty went subsequently mad: and Dr. Willis, 
who so dexterously cudgelled kingly pericraniums, could make 
nothing of hers 

The Lusian's luckless Queen. Maria I., was born 
in Lisbon in 1734 and died at Rio de Janeiro in 18 16. 
She married her uncle Don Pedro, and succeeded 
to the throne on the death of her father King Joseph 
in 1777. From the very commencement of her reign 
she suffered from great scruples of conscience due to 
several measures taken by her father and by his great 
minister the Marquis of Pombal. She was also greatly 
affected by all the events connected with the French 
Revolution, and with the misfortunes of Louis XVI. and 
his family. All this, combined with fresh scruples of 
conscience, inspired by the excessively illiberal views 
of her new confessor, D. Jose Maria de Mello, brought 
on melancholic derangement of her mind in January 
1792. She was placed under the treatment of the emi- 
nent English specialist Dr. Willis, from March i5 to 
the commencement of August, and was declared to be 
incurable 1 . Byron's «kingly pericraniums » is an allu- 
sio to George III. of England, who had been treated 
successfully by Willis during his first attack of mental 
trouble in 1788. 

When all hope of Dona Maria's recovery had to be 
given up, her son Don Joao assumed the Regency in 
1799. On the invasion of Portugal by Junot, she was 
taken to Brazil. During her reign were established, 

1 Dr. Francis Willis was given an initial honorarium of 
£ 10,000 and £ 1,000 per month, with all his other expenses paid. 


the Royal Academy of Sciences, and the National Li- 
brary. Beckford, in his letters, has left a very interest- 
ing description of Dona Maria's court in 1787. 

III. Mass and revel. . . lordlings and freres. This 
is probably an allusion to John V. the founder of the 
Monastery of Mafra, and to his court. Freres, in French 
means monks; in Portuguese they are known as «frades» 
and the nuns as «freiras». JohnV. was nicknamed «Rei 
freiratico» or the King given to the love of nuns. Se- 
veral writers have described his revels at the Convent 
of Odivelas, where he had built a special house for his 
own use. He was a king who combined great piety 
with great gallantry. 

IV. Babylonian whore. . . and the blood she hath 
spilt. Luther was the first to identify the Catholic 
Church with the «Babvlonian "whore» of the Apoca- 
lypse, and the Catholics were not slow in identifying 
Luther with the « Beast », also of the Apocalvpse. For- 
tunately such terms of reproach and intolerance have 
died out, at least among the cultured classes, during 
the last fifty years. «The blood she hath spilt» is an 
allusion to the abuses of the well-known Inquisition, 
abuses for which not only the ecclesiastical but also the 
secular authorities were responsible. Byron would 
been more accurate if he had said «the blood she had 
helped to spill ». 

Later on, Lord Byron did not think so very badly 
of the Catholic Church. In a letter to R. B. Hoppner 
(April 3, 1 82 1), regarding the education of his natural 
daughter Allegra, he says: «It is my wish that she 
should be a Roman Catholic, which I look upon as the 


best religion, as it is assuredly the oldest of the various 
branches of Christianity ». Again in a letter to Moore 
.March 8, 1822 he remarks: «As I said before I am 
really a great admirer of tangible religion; and am 
breeding one of my daughters as a Catholic that she 
may have her hands full. It is by far the most elegant 
worship, hardly excepting the Greek mythology*. And 
when at Pisa he is reported to have said «I have regretted 
not being born a Catholic, for to my mind the doc- 
trine of Purgatory is consoling)) 1 . It may be mentioned 
that the poet was born and brought up a Calvinist, but 
in his later years he became a sceptic or agnostic, and, 
like all sincere agnostics, he wished sometimes to be 
convinced of the truth of any form of Christianity, or 
of any religion. He remarked a short time before his 
death that were he to become a Christian he would not 
be a lukewarm one. 


O'er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills, 
(Oh that such hills upheld a free born race!) 
Whereon to gaze the eve with joyaunce fills, 
Childe Harold wends through many a pleasant place. 
Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, 
And marvel men should quit their easy chair. 
The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace, 
Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air 1 . 
And Life, that bloated Ease can never hope to share. 

I. Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air. In the 

highlands of the Alemtejo there is real «sweetness» in 

1 Vid. Lord Byron, juge par les iemoins de sa vie. Op. cit. } 
vol. I., pg. 209. 


the air, due to the Gum Cistus (Cist us ladam 'ferns), a 
beautiful shrub, with large white flowers with a purple 
spot in the centre; its buds and leaves are covered with 
a sweet smelling gum, which emits in summer parti- 
cularly in the evenings, a very pleasant fragrance. 
Bvron refers, therefore, to real sweetness. He enjoyed 
his ride to the frontier. In his younger days, when he 
was residing at Aberdeen, he was accustomed to rove 
in the Highlands of Scotland. 


More bleak to view the hills at length recede, 
And. less luxuriant, smoother vales extend; 
Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed 1 -! 
Far as the eve discerns, withouten end, 
Spain's realms appear, whereon her shepherds tend 
Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader knows — 
Now must the Pastor's arms his lambs defend: 
For Spain is compass'd by unyielding foes, 
And all must shield their all, or share Subjection's woes. 

I. Immense hori\on-bounded plains succeed. In a 

few lines in this and the last stanza Lord Byron gives 
an excellent description of the route which he traversed 
in the Province of Alemtejo. The country consists first 
of valleys and hills, but in approaching Spain the hills 
disappear, and there are immense plains. In summer, 
as the influence of the sea diminishes, the vegetation 
becomes less and less luxuriant, and the eastern portion 
of the province looks arid and barren. As in the case 
of Lisbon and Cintra the description of the country 
given by Bvron is remarkably accurate, and clothed in 
beautiful language. 

64 childk harold's pilgrimage. 


Where Lusitania and her Sister meet, 
Deem ye what bounds the rival realms 1 - divide? 
Or ere the jealous Queens of Nations 11 - greet, 
Doth Tayo interpose his mighty tide! 
Or dark Sierras rise in craggy pride? 
Or fence of art, like China's vasty "wall? — 
Ne barrier wall, ne river deep and wide 111 -, 
Ne horrid cra^s, nor mountains dark and tall, 
Rise like the rocks that part Hispania's land from Gaul 

I. Rival realms. Byron speaks of « rival realms » 
and «rival kingdoms ». There has always existed a 
rivalry between Portugal and Spain. One, small and 
weak, always trying to uphold its independence; the 
other, large and powerful, always thinking of absorbing 
the small. There is no love lost between the two. 

II. The jealous Queens of Nations. This is the only 
expression throughout the whole poem which indicates 
that the Portuguese were ever great. But from the 
context it is quite clear that it was not meant to be a 
compliment to them. It is only when he speaks of 
Spain that he refers, in a moment of forge tf illness, to the 
fact that Portugal was one of the « Queens of Nations)). 

III. Or fence of art, like China's wall? — Ne barrier 
wall, ne river deep and nude. In the MS. the sixth line 
of this stanza ran thus : 

[Or arts vain fence, like China's vasty wall?] 

This is a striking instance of how Byron's imagina- 
tion misled him; how he jumped to generalizations from 


the slightest foundation. He entered Spain by the road 
from Elvas to Badajoz; he crossed the small brook 
Caio which can be forded easily in summer, and from 
this simple fact he drew the conclusion that the whole 
frontier between Portugal and Spain was of the same 
nature. He never imagined that the access to Portugal 
from Spain was as difficult as the access to Spain from 
France. There are only two courses open to an invader 
of Portugal bv land: the first through Almeida, and the 
other through Elvas. Almost always the first has been 
preferred, as it does not present such a barrier as the 
Tagus. All the remaining portions of the frontier are 
bounded bv large mountains, deep valleys or wide 

St. XXXII: — 1. 4, Tayo. Tagus, Tajo in Spanish. 
andTejo in Portuguese.; — 1. 5, Sierra. Mountain, serra 
in Portuguese. 


But these between a silver streamlet glides. 
And scarce a name distineuisheth the brook. 
Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides. 
Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook. 
And vacant on the rippling waves doth look. 
That peaceful still 'tvvixt bitterest foemen flow: 
For proud each peasant as the noblest duke: 
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know 
'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low. iA ' ' 

(A.) As I found the Portuguese, so I have charac- 
terised them. That they are since improved, at least in 
courage, is evident. The late exploits of Lord Welling- 
ton have effaced the follies of Gintra. He has indeed 

66 childe Harold's pilgrimage. 

done wonders; he has perhaps changed the character 
of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an 
enemy who never retreated before his predecessors. — 
2 nd edition 1812 4 — B. N. 

I. The Spanish hind. . . and Lnsian slave, the lowest 

of the low. This is one of the serious accusations 
against the Portuguese; it is the great poet's parting 
oresent to his. beloved Allies. Once more, and for the 
last time, he made a great mistake. 

Before proceeding further it may be pointed out 
that in those days the character of the Portuguese nation 
could not be judged bv the inhabitants of Lisbon. Link, 
the famous botanist, who had come to Portugal in the 
company of Count Hoffmansegg in 1798, and had resided 
nearly one whole year in the country and mixed inti- 
mately with the people, says: «I read all the accounts 
I could procure of travels in Portugal, and found no 
one had seen so much of the country as ourselves. 
I also perceived that most of the authors of those works 
were grossly ignorant of the language, and gave many 
false accounts, or such as were only applicable to the 
inhabitants of the metropolis, but which were erroneous- 
ly intended to the whole kingdoms. And, further on, 
he adds: «the politeness, and the easy, gay, and friendly 
manner of the common people prejudice a foreigner 

1 It suited Lord Byron in 1812 to say that Lord Wellington 
had worked wonders, but he vyas not backward in reviling him 
in his Waltji published anonymously in i^i3. He was never con- 
sistant in his views, and was given to recant his opinions very 


more in favour of the Portuguese than of the Spaniards » l . 
And Southey, having in mind, no doubt, what Byron 
had said of the Portuguese, writes : c Travellers, form- 
ing their hasty estimate from the inhabitants of sea-ports 
and great cities have too generally agreed in reviling the 
Portuguese and Spaniards; but if they whose acquaint- 
ance with these nations was merely superficial have 
been disposed to depreciate and despise them, others 
who dwelt among them always became attached to the 
people, and bore honourable and willing testimony to 
the virtues of the national character)). And, in another 
place, he remarks: «The Portuguese were as proud a 
people as the Spaniards, and had in their history as 
much cause for pride, but they were not so impractic- 
able)) 2 . Byron, who had resided in Lisbon only ten 
days, and did not know the language sufficiently well 
to obtain any information at first hand, committed exact- 
ly the mistakes pointed out by Link and Southey. He 
judged the spirit of the Portuguese people in the same 
wav that he had judged the nature of the Portuguese 
frontier. There is no great difference between the 
Portuguese and the Spaniards: they share the same 
virtues and the same defects, as may be seen in their 
respective literatures. 

The real character of the Portuguese has almost 
always shown itself more in the country than in the 
metropolis. In 1808 the principal juntas were in the 

1 Link (Henry Frederick) : Travels in Portugal and through 
France and Spain. Translated from the German by John Hinckley, 
London, 1801, pp. v and i3o. 

2 Southey (R.): History of the Peninsular War. Op. cit., 
vol. 1., Part 1., p^. 14; and Vol. 11., Part 11., pg. 585. 


provinces; in 1820 the centre of the revolutionary move- 
ment was at Oporto; in 184S the Maria da Fonte 
insurrection had its origin in Minho; and even the Re- 
publican revolution first broke out at Oporto in 1891. 
Byron and other travellers of his day made just the 
same mistake as regards the Portuguese, that many 
English and American writers made with regard to the 
French before the present Great War. 

In Byron's opinion the Portuguese were « slaves, the 
lowest of the low», compared with the ((Spanish hind, 
proud as the noblest duke». And he supports his 
opinion bv saving, «as I found the Portuguese so I 
have characterised them». It is enough to quote here 
what Wellington thought on the subject eleven months 
before Byron's visit. In his report to Sir Harry 
Burrard, dated 8 th August, 1808, he says: «In respect 
to Portugal, the whole kingdom with the exception of 
the neighbourhood of Lisbon is in a state of insurrection 
against the French; their means of resistance are, how- 
ever, less powerful than those of the Spaniards. Their 
troops have been" completely dispersed, their officers 
had gone off to the Brazils and their arsenals pillaged, 
or in the power of the enemy. Their revolt, under the 
circumstances in which it has taken place, is still more 
extraordinary than that of the Spanish nation l . In his 
dispatch to Lord Castlereagh (5 th September, 1808) he 
remarks: «No Officer could calculate a great operation 
upon such a bodv of Spanish peasants». And, in a 
memorandum forwarded to Lord Liverpool (19 th No- 
vember, 1908), he observes: « Where the Spanish fail 

1 The italics are mine. 


is in the lower ranks of their officers and in their 

Carried away by his rancour, Lord Byron simply 
ignored plain and unmistakable facts. In July 1809, 
when he came to Lisbon, Portugal was one of the 
corners of Europe quite free from the Napoleonic yoke, 
whereas the greater portion of Spain was under his 
heel, and what is of more importance, there were 
actually Portuguese troops in Spain helping the Spa- 
niards against the common enemy ! In 1812, when he 
published his Childe Harold, it was exactly the same 
thing. Portugal was quite free from the enemy, and the 
Portuguese soldiers were also helping the Spaniards! 

The conduct of the Portuguese troops during the 
Peninsular War has receiyed such universal commend- 
ation both from friends and foes that it is not necessary 
to make any reference to it here. But the conduct of 
the ciyil population was still more admirable. Men 
and women, young and old, sacrificed themselves and 
their children to save their country from the enemy. 
In order to starye Massena's army they quitted in a 
body seyeral kilometres on both sides of the route taken 
by the enemy in the Proyinces of Beira and Estrema- 
dura, burnt all their proyisions, and converted the 
country into a desert. It is enough to say that due to 
this fact there were in the diocese of Coimbra alone 
«more than 2.960 murders, 20 villages were burnt down, 
and 144 isolated houses were set on fire» by the French 
soldiers from September 1810 to March 181 1 l . Mas- 

1 Breve memoria dos estragos causados no bispado de Coim- 
bra pelo exercito frances comandado pelo general Massena. Lisbon. 
1812, pg. i5. 


sena was compelled to retire from the dead wall of 
Torres Vedras more from the pangs of hunger than 
from military defeat. 

Marquis Wellesley, the Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs, stated in the House of Lords on 9 th April, 18 1 1, 
«ho\v the example of Portugal might prove as beneficial 
to other nations of Europe as they had hitherto been 
for her own defence*. Even hostile members of Par- 
liament, like General Ferguson, and all public writers 
were compelled to praise their heroism. And still 
these verv people were described bv Byron as «slaves, 
the lowest of the low», in March, 181 2! 

When Lord Byron found that he had offended his 
own countrymen bv the way he had described the 
character of the Portuguese, he made a Note to the 
second edition of his Childe Harold, a note which 
clearly shows that his rancour against them had not 
yet subsided. 

I will conclude this Part with a few brief and 
general remarks. Bvron devotes, roughly speaking, 

1 stanza to his sea voyage, 3 to Lisbon, 9 to Cintra, 

2 to general meditation, 1 to Mafra, and 4 to his travels 
from Lisbon to the Spanish frontier. 

Considered purely from the literary point of view 
the Pilgrimage to Portugal is one of the best things 
in the two Cantos. With the exception of a line or 
two the rest are very limpid. The descriptions of the 
outer world, especially of Cintra and of the Tagus, are 
really wonderful, both in the brilliancy of the imagery 
and the corresponding wealth of diction. But considered 
from the historical point of view, and from the allusions 
to or descriptions of public monuments, they are faulty 


and incomplete to a degree. He devotes only three 
stanzas to Lisbon and nine to Cintra. In the description 
of Lisbon there is not a single word regarding the 
Castle of St. George or the Monastery of Belem. At 
Cintra it is almost the same thing: not one word with 
reference to its Castle. And, as regards Portugal as 
a whole, not one single allusion to its past glories, to 
its past heroism; none to the Campo de Ourique 
or to Aljubarrota; none to Nuno Alvares, to Gama, 
to Albuquerque or to Camoens; and none to its women. 
He condemns the whole nation and does not endow it 
with one single redeeming feature. It is true, he is a 
poet and not a historian. All the same the contrasts 
in all these respects are most striking the moment 
he enters Spain. There he sees at once «Legions 
throng of Moor and Knight », «The standard of Pela- 
gio», «Chivalry, your ancient goddess », «Dark gleaming 
daughters formed for all the bewitching arts of love», 
etc., etc. 

If all the ideas of Lord Byron, both published and 
unpublished, regarding the character of the Portuguese, 
be examined; if thev be separated from those which 
refer to the physical features of the country, it is quite 
evident that his passionate animosity against the Portu- 
guese was due more to personal resentment than to 
mere political bias. He treats them in the same way 
that he had treated his own countrymen in his English 
Bards and Scotch Reviewers. He had received a rebuke 
from one Scotch reviewer, and he fell foul of all the 
Scotch reviewers and almost all the famous men of his 
day, men who had never raised even their little finger 
against him. In Lisbon he has to submit to an un- 
pleasant experience at the hands of one Portuguese 


/ - 

husband, and he falls foul of the whole Portuguese 
nation. He reviles them as brutes, wretches, paltry 
slaves, born as slaves, dirty, filthy, the lowest of the 
low, ignorant and proud, prone to loathe and lick, 
cowards, the most contemptible cowards, and assassins! 
He could not have treated worse even his personal 
enemies. He showers upon the whole nation all the 
choice epithets he had uppermost in his mind against 
one of them! It was his way then: he could not help it. 
He only learnt some self-restraint after he became a 

But, as from evil sometimes springs good, who 
knows whether Lord Byron's Childe Harold in Portugal 
was not a blessing in disguise? Who can sav whether 
he did not contribute — quite unconsciously of course — 
his own share to the Revolution of 1820, a revolution 
which led, only ten years after his death, to the over- 
throw T of absolutism; to the bestowal of equal political 
rights not only on all the inhabitants of Portugal but 
also on all the Colonials; to greater religious toleration 
and freedom of speech; and, by the suppression of 
religious orders and modification of the law of morga- 
dos (entail), to render the distribution of landed pro- 
perty more just and equitable. 

The Portuguese, like all other nations, have their 
faults, but the lack of love of libertv is certainly not 
one of them. At present a Protestant or a Jew, a 
Hindoo or a Mohammedan, has just the same privileges, 
religious and political, as a Catholic or a freethinker. 
If the Portuguese have one fault greater than another 
it is their ideal of liberty, liberty not onlv for themselves 
but liberty for all. It is an ideal which does not, how- 
ever, always produce favourable results in practice 


After the Peninsular War, during the greater part 
of the last century, there were, among the British 
writers, two currents of opinion regarding the Portu- 
guese: one had its origin in the views of their greatest 
military genius, and the other in those of one of their 
most brilliant poets. One considered them gallant. 
brave, and patriotic: the other described them as slaves, 
cowards, and assassins. One judged them from actual 
personal experience: the other from poetical fancy and 
personal resentment. Unfortunately there have been 
writers who have preferred the opinion of the poet to 
that of the soldier. Chacun a son gout. 






This votive pledge of fond esteem. 
Perhaps, dear girl! for me thou'ill prize. 

It sings of love enchanting dream, 
A theme we never can despise. 

Who blames it but the envious fool, 

The old and disappointed maid, 
Or pupil of the prudish school, 

In single sorrow doomed to fade? 

Then read, dear girl! with feeling read. 
For thou wilt be ne'er one of those; 

To thee in vain I shall not plead. 
In pity for the poet's woes. 

He was in sooth a genuine bard; 

His was no faint fictitious flame; 
Like his, may love be thy reward. 

But not thy hapless fate the same 11 . 

(From Hours of Idleness, 18 

I. The Poems of Camoens referred to by Byron 
were translations into English of sonnets, canzons, 

76 Byron's other writings. 

madrigals, etc., by Lord Strangford 1 . This work, the 
earliest of its kind, attracted a good deal of attention; 
it passed through six editions, and was translated into 
French by J. B. Barrere. The author ( b. 1780-d. [855), 
an Irishman, was at first Secretary to the British Le- 
gation in Portugal, and afterwards British Minister 
Plenipotentiary attached to the Portuguese Court at 
Rio de Janeiro. In 1807 Byron considered the poems 
worthy of being presented to a lady —it is not known 
who this lady was — but this is what he thinks of the 
translation and the translator two years afterwards in 
his English Bards and Scotch Reviewers: 


«For thee, translator of the tinsel song. 
To whom such glittering ornaments belong, 
Hibernian Strangford! with thine eyes of blue (a) 
And boasted locks of red and auburn hue. 

1 Camoens (Luis): Poems from the Portuguese of... Trans- 
lated by Lord Viscount Strangford. London, iSo3. 

<:|) The reader, who may wish for an explanation of this, may 
refer to Strangford's Camoens, pg. 127, note to pg. 56; or to the last 
page of the Edinburgh Review on Strangford's Camoens. — B. N. 
The note referred to by Bvron is on the canzonet: 

Nao sei quern assella 
Vossa fermesura, etc. 

Thou hast an eye of tender blue, etc., 
and runs thus: «Locks of auburn and eyes of blue have ever been 
dear to the sons of song». 

The Edinburgh Review, which was not favourably disposed 
towards the author, remarked sarcastically that «the author was 
welcome to his young freshness, amorous disposition, or anv other 
of those advantages which the noble writer possesses or thinks he 
has the prospects of possessing over the rest of the world» (vol. vi. 
Pg - s o). 


Whose plaintive strain each love-sick miss admires. 
And o'er harmonious fustian half expires, 

Learn, if thou canst, to yield thine author's sense. 
Nor vend thy sonnets on a false pretence. 
Think/st thou to gain thy verse a higher place. 
By dressing Camoens in a suit of lace?" 
Mend, Strangford! mend thv morals and thv taste; 
Be warm but pure, be amorous, but be chaste: 
Cease to deceive; thv pilfer'd harp restore. 
Nor teach the Lusian bard to copy Moore*. 

And further on he-adds: 

Let Strangford steal of Moor 

And swear that Camoens sang such notes of yore. 

Since i8o3 there have been other translations into 
English, partial or more or less complete, of the lyrics 
of Camoens by Mrs. Hemans (1818), Adamson (1820 1, 
Bowles (1839), Burton (1880), Aubertin (1881), and 
Aubrey Bell (191 3). 

The Revd. W. L. Bowles also comes in for his 
share of satire in the English Bards. After describing 
him as «the maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers ». 
Byron refers to his poem On the Spirit of Discovery 
(i8o5), thus: — 

«Now to soft themes thou scornest confine. 
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine. 
Awake a louder and a loftier strain (W 
Such as none heard before, or will again! 

(,,) It is to be remarked that the things given to the public as 
Poems of Camoens are no more to be found in the original Portu- 
guese than in the Song of Solomon. — B. N. 

(W Awake a louder, etc., etc., is the first line in Bowles's Spirit 

78 Byron's other writings. 

Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood, 

Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud, 

By more or less, are sung in every book. 

From Captain Noah to Captain Cook, 

Nor this alone; but, pausing on the road, 

The bard sighs forth a gentle episode (a) ; 

And gravely tells — attend, each beauteous miss! — 

When first Madeira trembled to a kiss». 

In the same English Bards Sir Walter Scott is 
referred to as agrovellins Scott» (,,) and Southev is des- 
cribed thus: — 

«Behold the ballard-monger Southey rise! 

To him let Camoens, Milton, Tasso vield» etc., etc. 

All these brief extracts and references are given 
here, first, because they have some connexion with 

of Discovery a very spirited and pretty dwarf epic. Among other 
exquisite lines we have the following. 

«A kiss 
Stole on the list'ning silence never yet 
Here heard; they trembled even as if the power, etc.». 
That is. the woods of Madeira trembled to a kiss, very much 
astonished, as they might well be, at such a phenomenon. — B. N. 
(a) The episode here alluded to is the story of «Robert Machine 
and «Anna Arfet» a pair of constant lovers, who exchanged the 
kiss above mentioned, that startled the woods of Madeira. — B. N. 
ll '' Scott, better known in the Morning Post by the name of 
Haflz. This person is at present the most profound explorer of 
bathos. I remember, when the reigning family left Portugal, a spe- 
cial ode of Master Scott's beginning thus (Scott loquitur quoad 

Princely offspring of Braganza, 

Erin greets thee with a stanza, etc. — B. N. 

Byron wrote this in 1809; three years afterwards he apologised 

for what he had said, and both of them became great friends. 


Portugal; and, secondly, because they reveal their 
author's mental attitude before he came to Portugal. 

II. But not thy hapless fate the same. Camoens, 

whose whole life was a series of misfortunes and 
disappointments, was born in Lisbon in i524 and died 
in the same city in i58o. The happiest part of his life 
was passed at Coimbra, where as a student he had his 
juvenile loves. On his return to Lisbon, in about 1 5_].3, 
he fell seriously in love with Dona Catharina d'Athaide, 
a ladv in waiting on the Queen, which caused his 
banishment first to Ribatejo, and then to North Africa, 
where he lost his right eve. He came back in i55i, 
and in the following year had to undergo an impri- 
sonment of nine months for wounding a court official 
in defence of two of his friends. On his release he 
had to volunteer to go to India as a common soldier, 
and to leave Lisbon on March 26, 1 553, in the ship 
San Bento. From Goa he was sent to Macau in China 
on a civil appointment. While coming back he was 
ship-wrecked at Cambodia, off the mouth 6f the River 
Mekong, and had to swim with one hand while he held 
the manuscript of his poem in the other. On his arrival 
in Goa he was again thrown into prison for some of 
his supposed irregularities in China. After an absence 
of sixteen years he returned to Portugal in April 1070, 
and died in an asylum on June 10, i58o. A suggestion 
has been thrown out lately that the real object of his 
affection which brought about his banishment was Dona 
Maria, one of the daughters of King Manuel I. 

The Lusiads, the great epic of Camoens, was pub- 
lished in 1672, and has been translated into English 
by Fanshaw (i655), Mickle (1776), Musgrove (1818), 

So Byron's othek writings. 

Quilinan (partially, i853), Aubertin (1878), Duff (1880 ), 
and Burton (1881). All the great honours rendered 
to him are posthumous. He was patient and forbearing 
in all his adversities, and was so high-minded that he 
simply ignored, bantered, or pitied his adversaries. 
His great forte was love: love of women, love of his 
great countrvmen, and love of his country. 

When Byron referred to the « hapless fate*, of Ca- 
moens, he had no doubt in his mind Bowles's Last 
Song of Camoens, and also the following lines in The 
Spirit of Discoreiy by Sea referring to the unfortunate 

«Alas! I see an aged form. 

An old man worn bv penury, his hair 

Blown white upon his haggard cheek, his hand 

Emaciated, yet the strings with thrilling touch, 

Soliciting; but the vain crowds pass by — 

His very countrymen, whose fame his song. 

Has raised to Heav'n in stately apathy, 

Wrapt up, and nursed in Pride's fastidious lap, 

Regard not. As he plays, a sable man 

Looks up. but fears to speak, and when the song, 

1^ ceased, kisses his master's feeble hand. 

Is that cold wasted hand, that haggard look, 

Thine Camoens? O shame upon the world! 

And is there none, none to sustain thee found. 

But he, himself unfriended, who so far. 

Has followed, sever'd from his native isles. 

To scenes of gorge >u> cities, o'er the sea. 

Thee and thv broken fortunes? 

God of worlds ! 
Oh! whilst I hail the triumph and high boast. 
Of social life, let me not wrong the sense. 
Of kindness, planted in the human heart. 
By man's great Maker: therefore I record, 
Antonio's faithful, gentle, generous love. 


To his heart-broken master, that might teach. 
High as it bears itself, a polished world. 
More charity* l . 

Among several books, articles and poems of a later 
period, devoted to Camoens, there is one which is 
worthy of especial attention; it is Mrs. Browning's 
Catarina to Camoens 2 . This short poem, by one of 
the greatest poetesses of England, is so full of tender 
sentiment that no Portuguese, who loves and admires 
his Prince of Poets, should fail to read. 



In moments to delight devoted 
«My Hfe» with tenderest tone you cry, 
Dear words ! on which mv heart had doted. 
If youth could neither fade or die. 

To death even hours like these must roll. 
Ah! then repeat these accents never; 
Or change «mv life» into «my soul» 
Which, like mv love, exists for ever. 


You call me still your life 

Oh change the word — 

Life is as transient as the inconstant sigh: 

Sav rather I am your soul; more just that name. 

For, like the soul, mv love can never die. 

(From Occasional Pieces). 

1 Bowles (L. B.): The Poelical Works of... Paris. 1829, 
pg. 17. — Antonio, a native of Java, had followed Camoens to Lis- 
bon. This faithful attendant used to beg alms in the streets of 
Lisbon to help his broken-hearted master. 

2 Browning (Elisabeth Barrett): Poems. London. 1878.— She 
also refers to Camoens in her A Vision of Poets. 


N2 Byron's other writings. 

I. Tit me chamas. Tl)e original in Portuguese is as 


Tu me chamas tua vida, 
Eu tua alma quero ser; 
A vida e curta, e acaba, 
A alma nao pode morrcr. 

Its litteral translation is: Thou callest me your life, 
I wish to be your soul; life is short and finishes, the 
sou! cannot die. 

The first version was published, it is said, in 1814, 
in the seventh edition of Childe Harold; and the second 
in the poets works in i83s. 



(Written on board the Lisbon Packet) 

Huzza! Hodgson, we are going, 

Our embargo's off at last; 
Favourable breezes blowing — 

Bend the canvas o'er the mast. 
From aloft the signal's streaming, 

Hark! the farewell gun is fired; 
Women screeching, tars blaspheming 
Tell us that our time's expired 
Here's a rascal 
Come to task all 
Prving from the custom house; 
Trunks unpacking 
Cases cracking. 
Not a corner for a mouse 
'Scapes unsearch'd amid the racket, 
Ere we sail on board the Packet. 

Now our boatmen quit their mooring, 
And all hands must ply the oar; 


Baggage from the quay is Lowering, 

We're impatient — push from shore, 
«Have a care! that case holds liquor 

Stop the boat I'm sick — oh Lord!» 
«Sick, ma'am, damme, you'll he sicker 
Ere you've been an hour on boards. 
Thus are screaming 
Men and wome i, 
Gemmen, ladies, servants. Jacks. 
Here entangling. 
All are wrangling. 
Stuck together close as wax". — 
Such the general noise and racket. 
Ere we reach the Lisbon Packet. 

Now we've reach'd her, lo! the Captain, 
Gallant Kidd, commands the crew; 
Passengers their berths are clapt in. 
Some to grumble, some to spew. 
«Hev day! call you that a cabin? 

Whv, 'tis hardlv three feet square: 
Not enough to stow Queen Mab in — 
Who the deuce can harbour there ?» 
«Who sir: plenty — 
Nobles twenty 
Did at once my vessel hll». — 
«Did thev : Jesus, 
How you squeeze us! 
Would to God thev did so still 
Then I'd scape the heat and racket 
Of the good ship, Lisbon Packet". 

Fletcher! Murray ! Bob! where are you? 

Stretched along the deck like logs — 
Bear a hand, vou jollv tar, you! 

Here's a rope end for the dogs. 
Hobhouse muttering fearful curses. 

As the hatchway down he rolls; 
Now his breakfast, now his verses, 

Vomits forth — and damns our souls. 

84 Byron's other writings. 

'•Here's a stan/a 
On Braganza — 

«Help!» — «A couplet?») — <«No, a cup 
Of warm water* — 
«\Yhat is the matter?)) 
«Zounds! my liver's coming up; 
I shall not survive the racket 
Of this brutal Lisbon Packet. » 

Now at length we're off for Turkey, 

Lord knows when we .shall come back! 
Breezes foul and tempests murky 

Mav unship us in a crack. 
But, since life at most a jest is. 

As philosophers allow. 
Still to laugh by far the best is, 
Then laugh on as I do now. 
Laugh at all things. 
Great and small things 
Sick, or well, at sea or shore; 
While we're quaffing. 
Let's have laughing — 
Who the devil cares for more: — 
Some good wine! and who would lack it, 
Lv'n on board the Lisbon Packet? 

l'almoulh Roads. June 3oth. 1809. 

I. Lines to Mr. Hodgson. Before Byron left Eng- 
land the Rev. Francis Hodgson had addressed two 
short poems to his friend: one with respect to his 
responsibility as a hereditary legislator, and the other 
full of admonitions respecting his views on religion. 
Botli the pieces are to be seen in his work entitled 
Lady Jane Grey. Mr. Hodgson was the poet's best 
correspondent; he was one of the first to recognise the 
merits of the Hours of Idleness, British Bards, and 


Childe Harold. Their tastes in literary matters were 
more or less alike. To no one did the poet open his 
mind more freely than to Mr. Hodgson. His onlv 
letter written from Lisbon was addressed to him. A 
full and very interesting account of their friendship has 
been given in the Memoir of the Rev. F. Francis by 
his son 1 . Byron was very kind and generous to his 
friend; he made him a present of a thousand pounds 
to pay off his liabilities. 



Lisbon, July 16 1809. 

Thus far have we pursued our route, and seen all 
sorts of marvellous sights, palaces, convents, etc., — 
which, being to be heard in my friend Hobhouse's 
forthcoming Book of Travels 1 , I shall not anticipate by 
smuggling any account whatsoever to you in a private 
and clandestine manner. I must just observe that the 
village 2 of Cintra in Estremadura is the most beautiful, 
perhaps, in the world. 

I am very happy here, because I loves oranges, and 
talk bad Latin to the monks who understand it, as it 
is like their own, — and I goes into society (with my 

1 Hodgson (Rev. Francis) : Memoir of . . . With numerous letters 
from Lord Bvron and others, by his son the Rtv. James T. Hodgson. 
London, 1878. 

2 Cintra was granted the privileges of a town (Vila) by Afonso 
He.iriques in the XII, century. 

86 Byron's othkr writings. ' 

pocket pistols), and I swims in the Tagus"- all across 
at once, and I rides on an ass or a mule, and swears 
Portuguese, and have got a diarrhoea and bites from 
the mosquitoes. But what of that: Comfort must not 
be expected bv folks that go a pleasuring. 

'When the Portuguese are pertinacious I say Car- 
racho the great oath of the grandees, that very well 
supplies the place of Damme and when dissatisfied 
with my neighbour, I pronounce him Ambra di mercio. 
With these two phrases and the third Avra bouro 
which signifieth «Get an ass» I am universally under- 
stood to be a person of degree and a master of languages. 
How merrily we lives that travellers be! — if we had 
food and raiment. But, in sober sadness, anything is 
better than England, and I am delightfully amused with 
my pilgrimage as far as it has gone. 

To-morrow we start to ride post near 400 miles as 
far as Gibraltar where we embark for Melita and 
Byzantium. A letter to Malta will rind me, or to be 
forwarded, if I am absent. Pray embrace the Drury 
and Dw T yer, and all the Ephesians, you encounter. 
I am writing with Butler's donative pencil, w T hich makes 
my bad hand worse. Excuse illegibility. 

Hodgson! send me the news, and the deaths and 
defeats and capital crimes and the misfortunes of one's 
friends, and let us hear of literary matters, and the 
controversies and the criticisms. All this will be plea- 
sant — Suavi mari magno, etc. Talking of that I have 
been sea-sick and sick of the sea. Adieu. 

Yours faithfully, etc. 

I. Hobhouses Book of Travels. John Cam Hob- 
house, afterwards raised to the peerage as Baron 


Bro.ughton de Gyfford (b. 1786 — & [869) was one 
of Lord Byron's most intimate and steadfast friends. 

The}" travelled together till Constantinople, and he left 
for England on 14 th July 1810 leaving Byron alone. In 
18 1 3, one year after the publication of the two Cantos 
of Childe Harold, Hobhouse brought out his Journey 
through Albania [ , a bulky quarto of upwards of a 
thousand pages. He commences his description abrupt- 
ly from Malta, and does not say a word regarding 
Portugal or Spain. That he had taken ample notes in 
Lisbon there is not the least doubt. Then why the 
omission? There can be only two explanations: either 
the observations he had made in 1809 did not hold good 
in 18] 3, or his opinions were so different from those 
expressed in Childe Harold that he did not like to 
appear before the public in opposition to the views of 
his friend. In any case his silence is very suspicious. 
Nobody could have described better than he all the 
incidents connected with Byron's life in Portugal. Lord 
Byron dedicated his fourth Canto of Childe Harold 
to Hobhouse, who on that occasion published his 
Illustrations of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold. 
They were so intimate that Hobhouse acted as the best 
man at Byron's wedding and was the executor of his 

II. I am happy here. . . I sivims in the Tagus. With 
reference to the Poet's letters in those days Moore 

1 Hobhouse (John Cam) : A Journey through Albania and other 
provinces or Turkey in Europe and Asia to Constantinople during 
the year i8og and 1810. London, i8i3. 

NX Byron's othek writings. 

remarks: «In a temperament like that of Lord Byron's, 
such gusts of vivacity on the surface are by no means 
incompatible with wounded spirit underneath)). Who 
knows whether he did not wish to cover by his gaity 
the sad experience he had to submit to during his stay 
in Lisbon? That he enjoyed his visit to Portugal in 
many respects there is no doubt. 

Byron says: «I swims in the Tagus all across at 
once». Regarding this Mr. Hobhouse is reported to 
have said: «Mv companion had before (his swim at the 
Hellespont) made more perilous but less celebrated 
passage, for I recollect that, when we were in Portugal 
he swam from Old Lisbon to Belem Castle, and having 
to contend with a tide and counter-current, the wind 
blowing freshly, was but little less than two hours in 
crossing)). There is some mistake in this report. Byron 
c(,uld not have swam across the Tagus if he swam from 
( )ld Lisbon to the Tower of Belem, for both these places 
are on the same side of the river. What he did do 
was to swim from the Lazaretto to the Tower of Be- 
lem, a distance of i.55o metres. Byron himself was 
more proud, and with good reason, of his swiming feat, 
on the 3 rd of May, 1810, across the Hellespont, the 
narrowest part of which measures 1.800 metres. Mr. 
Hobhouse was not present on this occasion, and so he 
was not in a position to form an opinion on the com- 
parative peril of the two feats. The current in the 
Hellespont in May is stronger than that of the Tagus 
in July. 

All the Portuguese words and phrases used in this 
letter are wrong. Carracho is probably «Caramba»; 
amra di merdo is a alma de m...a»; and avra bouvo 
is etraga burro*. 




Gibraltar, August 6, 1809. 

I have just arrived at this place after a journey 

through Portugal, and a part of Spain, of nearly 5oo 
miles. We left Lisbon and travelled on horseback to 
Seville and Cadiz, and thence in the Hyperion frigate 
to Gibraltar. The horses are excellent — we rode 
seventy miles a day. Eggs and wine and hard beds, 
are all the accommodation we found, and, in such 
torrid weather, quite enough. My health is better than 
in England. Seville is a line town, and the Sierra 
Morena, part of which we crossed, a very sufficient 
mountain; but damn description, it is always disgusting. 
Cadiz, sweet Cadiz! it is the first spot in the creation. 
The beauty of its streets and mansions is only excelled 
by the loveliness of its inhabitants. For with all na- 
tional prejudice I must confess the women of Cadiz 
are far superior to the English women in beaut} as 
the Spaniards are inferior to the English in every 
quality that dignities the name of man. Just as I began 
to know the principal persons of the city I was obliged 
to sail. 

You will not expect a long letter after my riding - 
far «on hollow pampered jades of Asia». Talking of 
Asia puts me in mind of Africa, which is within five 
miles of my present residence. I am going over before 
I go on to Constantinople. 

Cadiz is a complete Cythera. Many of the grandees 
who have left Madrid during the troubles reside there, 

qo Byron's other writings. 

and I do believe it is the prettiest and cleanest town 
in Europe. London is tilth}- in the comparison.. The 
Spanish women are all alike, their education the same. 
The wife of a duke is, in information, as the wife of a 
peasant, the wife of a peasant in manner, equal to a 
duchess. Certainly they are fascinating hut their minds 
have only one idea, and the business of their life in 

I have seen Sir John Cam 1 at Seville and Cadiz, 
and like Swift's barber, have been down on mv knees 
to beg he would not put me in black and white. Pray 
remember me to the Drurys and the Davies, and all 
of that stamp who are yet extant. Send me a letter 
and news to Malta. My next epistle shall be from 
Mount Caucasus or Mount Sion. I shall return to 
Spain before I see England, for I am enamoured of 
the country. 

Adieu, and believe me, etc. 



Gibraltar, August u, 1809. 

Dear Mother, I have been so much occupied since 
my departure from England, that till I could address 
you at length I have forborne writing altogether. As 
I have now passed through Portugal, and a considerable 

1 Sir John Cam styled, in a suppressed stanza of Childe Ha- 
rold, «Green Erin's Knight and Europe's wandering star»,was the 
author of several and important hooks on travel in various parts 


part of Spain, and have leisure at this place, I shall 

endeavour to give you a short detail of my movements. 

We sailed from Falmouth on the 2 nd of July, reached 

Lisbon after a very favourable passage of four days 
and a half and took up our abode in that citv. It has 
been often described without being worthy of description; 
for except the view T from the Tagus, which is beautiful, 
and some fine churches and convents, it contains little 
but filthy streets, and more filthy inhabitants 1 . To 
make amends for this, the village of Cintra, about 
fifteen miles from the capital is, perhaps in every 
respect, the most delightful in Europe, it contains 
beauties of every description natural and artificial, Pa- 
laces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts 
and precipices; convents on stupendous heights — a 
distant view of the sea and the Tagus, and besides 
(though that is a secondary consideration), is remarkable 
as the scene of Sir H. Dalrymple's Convention. It 
unites in itself all the wildness of the western highlands, 
with the verdure of the south of France 2 . Near this 

of Europe. Among his other works he published in 181 1 Descript- 
ive travels in the Southern and Eastern parts of Spain and the 
Balearic Isles (Majorca and Minorca) in the year 1809. He does 
not make in it any reference to Lord Byron, who «had begged not 
to be put in black and white». 

1 In a letter to his mother, from Constantinople, dated June 28, 
1810, Lord Byron says: «I have passed some time with the prin- 
cipal Greeks in the Morae and Livadia, and, though inferior to the 
Turks, thev are better than the Spaniards, who, in their turn, excel 
the Portugueses 

2 In Bvron's correspondence there are other references t<> 
Cintra. In a letter written at Prevesa in Turkey he says: «I went 
over the mountains through Zitza, a village with a Greek m<mas- 

9 2 

Byron's other writings. 

place, about ten miles to the right, is the palace of 
Mafra, the boast of Portugal, as it might be of any 
country, in point of magnificence, without elegance. 
There is a convent annexed; the monks who possess 
large revenues, are courteous enough, and understand 
Latin; so that we had a long conversation. They have 
a large library, and asked me if the English had any 
books in their country 1 . 

I sent my baggage, and part of the servants, by sea 
to Gibraltar, and travelled on horseback from Aldea 
Gallega the first stage from Lisbon, which is only 
accessible bv water to Seville (one of the most famous 
cities in Spain), where the Government called the Junta 
is now held. The distance to Seville is nearly four 
hundred miles, and to Cadiz almost ninety farther 
towards the coast. I had orders from the governments 

tery (where I slept on my return) in the most beautiful situation 
(always excepting Cintra, in Portugal) I ever beheld» (Nov. r>, 
1809). He also refers to Cintra in a note to «Fair Greece, sad 
relic of departed worths (C. II., st. lxxxiii.). «From Fort PhylU 
he savs, «of which large remains still exist, the plains of Athens, 
Pentelicus, Hvmethus burst upon the eye at once; in my own 
opinion, a more glorious prospect than even Cintra or Istamboulw. 
It will be noticed that he speaks here of plains and not of moun- 

1 The story is well told but whether it is quite accurate is 
doubtful. What the monk probably asked was whether there 
were many large libraries (librarias) in England and not books 
(libros), but a mot pour rire in a private letter, which was never 
intended for publication, amuses the reader and does no harm; 
but when it is accepted bv his commentators, and biographers 
like Karl Kl/e, as a measure of ignorance of the monks at Mafra 
it is quite different. 


and every possible accommodation on the road, as an 
English nobleman, In an English uniform, is a very 
respectable personage in Spain at present. The horses 
are remarkably good, and the roads (I assure you upon 
my honour for you will hardly believe it) very far 
superior to the best English roads, without the smallest 
toll or turnpike. You will suppose this when I rode 
post to Seville, in four days through this parching 
countrv in the midst of summer, without fatigue or 

Seville is a beautiful town; though the streets are 
narrow they are clean. We lodged in the house of 
two Spanish unmarried ladies, who possess six houses 
in Seville, and gave me a curious specimen of Spanish 
manners. They are women of character, and the eldest 
a fine woman, the youngest, pretty but not so good a 
figure as Donna Josepha. The freedom of manner, 
which is general here, astonished me not a little; and 
in the course of further observations, I find that reserve 
is not the characteristic of Spanish belles, who are, in 
general, very handsome, with large black eyes, and very 
fine forms. The eldest honoured your unworthy son 
with verv particular attention, embracing him with great 
tenderness at parting (I was there but three days) after 
cutting off a lock of his hair, and presenting him with 
one of her own, about three feet in length, which I send, 
and beg you will retain till my return. Her last words 
were Adios, tu hermoso! me gusto mucho — Adieu, you 
prettv fellow! you please me much. She offered me 
a share of her apartment, which virtue induced me 
decline; she laughed and said I had some English 
amante (lover) and added she was ^o'm^ to be married 
to an officer in the Spanish Army. 

94 Byron's other writings. 

I left Seville and rode on to Cadiz, through a beau- 
tiful country. At Xeres where the sherry we drink is 
made. I met a great merchant — a Mr. Gordon, of 
Scotland — who was extremely polite, and favoured 
me with the inspection of his vaults and cellars, so 
that I quailed at the fountain head. 

Cadiz, sweet Cadiz, is the most delightful town 
I ever beheld, very different from our English cities in 
every respect except cleanliness (and it is as clean as 
Londoro, but still beautiful, and full of the finest women 
in Spain, and Cadiz belles being the Lancashire witches 
of their land. Just as I was introduced and began to 
like the grandees I was forced to leave it for this cursed 
place: but before I return to England I will visit it 

The night before I left it, I sat in the box of the 
Opera with Admiral Cordova's family; he is the com- 
mander whom Lord St. Vincent defeated in 1797, and 
has an aged wife and a fine daughter Sennorita Cor- 
dova. The girl is very pretty, in the Spanish style; 
in mv opinion, bv no means inferior to the English 
charms and certainly superior in fascination. Long 
black hair, dark languishing eves, clear olive complex- 
ions, and form more graceful in motion than can be 
conceived bv an Englishman used to drowsy listless 
air of his countrywomen, added to the most becoming 
dress, and at the same time, the most decent in the 
world, render a Spanish beauty irresistible. 

Miss Cordova and her little brother understood a 
little French, and, after regretting my ignorance of the 
Spanish, she proposed to become mv preceptress in 
that language. I could only reply bv a low bow, and 
express mv regret that I quitted Cadiz too 1 soon to 


permit rne to make the progress which would doubtl 
attend my studies under so charming a directress. I 
was standing at the back of the box, which resembles 
our Opera hoses, (the theatre is large and finely de- 
corated, the music admirable,) in the manner which 
Englishman generally adopt, for fear of incommoding 
the ladies in front, when this fair Spanish dispossessed 
an old woman fan aunt or a duenna) of her chair, and 
commanded me to be seated next to herself, at a toler- 
able distance from her mamma. At the close of the 
performance I withdrew, and was lounging with a 
party of men in the passage, when en passant, the lady 
turned round and called me, and I had the honour of 
attending her to the admiral's mansion. I have an 
invitation on my return to Cadiz, which I shall accept 
if I repass through the countrv on my return from 
Asia 1 . 

I have met Sir John Cam, Knight Errant, at Seville 
and Cadiz. He is a pleasant man. I like the Spaniards 
much. You have heard of the battle near Madrid J , 
and in England thev would call it a victory — a pretty 
victory! Two hundred officers and rive thousand men 
killed, all English, and the French in as great force as 
erer. I should have joined the army, but we have no 
time to lose before we get up the Mediterranean and 
Archipelago. I am going over to Africa to-morrow; it 
is only six miles from this fortress. My nexr stage is 

1 The battle near Madrid is that of Talavera, which was 
fought on July 27 and 28, ^809, in which Sir Arthur Wellesley with 
English and some Portuguese and Spanish troop defeated Marshal 


96 Byron's othkr writings. 

Cagliari in Sardinia, where I shall be presented to his 
Majesty. I have a most superb uniform as a court-dress 
indispensable in travelling. 

August 1 3. — I have not been to Africa the wind is 
contrary but I dined yesterday at Algesiras, with lady 
Westmoreland, where I met General Castanos, the 
celebrated Spanish leader in the later and present war. 
To-day 1 dine with him. He has offered me letters 
to Tetuan in Barbary, for the principal Moors, and I 
am to have the house for a few days of one of the great 
men, which was intended for Lady W. whose health 
will not permit her to cross the straits. 

August 1 5. — I could not dine with Castanos yes- 
terday, but this afternoon I had the honour. He is 
pleasant and, for wha,t I know to the contrary, clever. 
I cannot go to Barbary. The Malta packet sails to- 
morrow, and myself in it. Admiral Purvis, with whom 
I dined at Cadiz, gave me a passage in a frigate to 
Gibraltar, but we have no ship of war destined for 
Malta at present. The packets sail past, and have 
good accommodation. You shall hear from me on our 

Joe Murray delivers this; I have sent him and the 
bov back. Prav show the lad kindness, as he is nay 
great favourite; I would have taken him on. And say 
this to his father, who may otherwise think he has 
behaved ill. 

I hope this will find you well. Believe me, 

Yours ever sincerely, 

NO l ES \M> COMMEN rS. I r 

P. S. — So Lord G. 1 is married to a rustic! Well 
done! If I wed I will bring you home a sultana, with 
half a dozen cities for a dowry, and reconcile you to 
an Ottoman daughter-in-law with a bushel of pearls. 
not larger than ostrich eggs, or smaller than walnuts. 

I. I have an invitation on my return to Cadi\, which 
I shall accept if I repass through the country on my 
return from Asia. Byron's original plan of his grand 
tour was to visit Persia, India and Egypt, but pecuniary 
difficulties compelled him to return to England earlier 
than he had intended. 

Like, or rather more than, all young men, Byron 
was greatly sensitive to any attention shown him by 
the fairer sex. The belles of Cadiz impressed him so 
much that he wished to visit his « first spot in the 
creations once more before returning to England. In 
his Don Juan he remembers all his Donnas Josephas 
and does not forget Senorita Cordova's proposal to 
teach him Spanish. It will be noticed that in all his 
letters there is not the slightest reference to any Por- 
tuguese women. Too gallant to say anything against 
them, he simply ignores them. This is an indirect 
proof that a woman was the main cause of his rancour 
against the Portuguese. 

1 Lord G. . . is Lord Grey de Rethen, who had married Anna 
Maria, daughter of William Helham; he had been a temporary 
tenant of Newstead Abbey. 


O Preso de Chillon. Traductor Fernando Luis Mousinho de Albu- 
querque. Lisboa, i833. 

Os Amores de D. Joao. Extracto do Poema. Traduccao de Joao 
Vieira Caldas. Porto, 1875. 

Peregrinacoes de Childe Harold. Traduccao do inglez por Alberto 
Telles. Canto Primeiro. Portugal e Hespanha. Lisboa, 188 1. 

Poemas : Parisana. Ma^eppa. O Corsairo. O Prisioneiro de Chillon. 
Lament aqao de Tasso. Traduccao de A. S. (Agostinho Albino 
de Silveira Pinto). Porto, 1889. 

Manfredo. O Giaour. Traduccoes do original por Carlos Xavier. 
Coimbra, 1893. 

O Cerco de Corintho. Traduccao de Henrique Ernesto Coutinho. 
Porto, 1893. 

NOTE. — Besides these there are some of Byron's works trans- 
lated into Portuguese in Brazil. 

14 UAI vov 



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General Library 

University of California 




D. Jeronimo de Mascarenhas 

Rua do Arco, a Jesus, 113— LISBOA 

lord Bros.. Inc. 

ckton, Calif. 

}eg. U.S.Pat. Off. 

5+510+ >*«*' ;?".